Helping teens prepare for surgery

What happens after surgery

After surgery, the anesthesia team will help you to gradually wake from anesthesia. You will be moved on a bed with wheels to the, Post Anesthesia Care Unit. We call it the PACU or the recovery room. A nurse will be taking care of you and check your vital signs frequently. You will feel groggy, and sometimes a little dizzy. Tell your nurse if you feel uncomfortable. Your nurse can give you medicine to help you feel better.

You will probably sleep most of the time while you are in the PACU. You will not feel like eating or drinking right away. You may have an IV and get fluids and medicines through it. Your family can join you when you are ready to leave this area.

You will then be brought to a post-op room. The post-op nurse will check your temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure and will check your comfort level using the pain scale. Common feelings after anesthesia may include sleepiness, upset stomach, dizziness, headache, sore throat, irritability, and muscle aches. Many people just feel a bit tired, but otherwise well. If you feel ready to drink you may have some ice chips, Popsicles, or clear liquids.

You may feel like watching a movie or TV or you may just want to sleep. If you are spending the night or several nights, one parent can stay in your room with you.

When you are ready to go home your doctor or nurse will give you instructions about eating and drinking, activity, and medicines to help with healing, and how to take care of yourself.


Take a tour designed to help patients and family members to learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery day.


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