Patients who have had major surgery may go straight from theatre to a High Care area or Intensive Care Unit and do not need to spend time in Recovery.
In the Recovery room you will once again have monitors attached to you (e.g. ECG, pulse oximeter and blood pressure monitor), an oxygen mask will be placed over your mouth and nose, and your anaesthetist will hand over monitoring responsibility to the specially trained Recovery Room nurse.
The time to full recovery is dependent on the length of the anaesthetic, and may be anything from five minutes to an hour. Before discharging you back to the ward the anaesthetist will once again check that your vital signs are stable and that you are fully recovered. To do this your anaesthetist will perform some simple checks, such as asking you to lift your head up for five seconds, asking you your name and other questions such as your age, or what day of the week it is. He or she will also ensure that you are not distressed by pain or nausea.
After back surgery – things to remember