- Breast Surgery
- Cancer Center
- Ears, Nose, and Throat
- Emergency Room
- Family Medicine
- Fertility Clinic
- General Surgery
- Internal Medicine
- Medical Imaging
- Nuclear Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation
- Respiratory Medicine
Information on Eczema CareLEARN MORE
Eczema is a very common skin condition in children and adults. Your doctor may refer to your eczema as atopic dermatitis. It causes dry, itchy, scaly and red skin. For some, this problem is ongoing with frequent flare-ups that can be extremely uncomfortable and affect your daily life.
What causes eczema?
The outermost layer of the skin in people with eczema is usually drier and more sensitive. They react easily to certain allergens and irritants in the environment. This dryness and sensitivity usually runs in the family.
How will my doctor treat my eczema?
Your doctor may give you the following treatment to relieve the symptoms of your eczema:
a) Moisturizing creams or ointments
These keep your skin moist and prevent your skin from becoming dry. Dry skin causes itchiness that encourages scratching. Intense scratching will make it worse at times results in a skin break, increasing your chance of skin infection.
b) Steroid creams and ointments
These are applied to your skin to control skin sensitivity, relieve itching and redness. In severe cases, your doctor might prescribe steroid pills for you to take for a short period of time.
c) Antihistamine pills
Antihistamines are medications that people often take for allergies. They help relieve itching, especially at night, and can also help sleep.
There are other treatments that include wet dressings, injectable medications, and medications that change the way the immune system works. Your doctor may recommend these treatments if you do not get better. Your doctor may also refer you to a skin specialist if your skin problem is severe.
What things can I do at home to feel better?
• Use moisturizer generously
• Apply at least twice daily, especially immediately after bathing while the skin is moist
• Keep the air in your home moist by using a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer
• Take medications to reduce skin itching and irritation
• Maintain a cool temperature at home. Sudden temperature changes and sweating will worsen the symptoms of eczema
• Use hypoallergenic fabric for clothing and bed sheets
• Relax and maintain a calm mood. Some eczema can be worsened by stress and worry
• Avoid to use over-heated water during bathing. Hot water irritates and dries the skin
• Avoid to use harsh soaps and cleansing products
• Avoid to use perfumes
• Don’t scratch
Do I need to seek further help from my doctor?
Please contact your doctor if:
a) Your skin condition does not improve after using at-home care
b) The skin dryness gets worse
c) You suspect your skin becomes infected. A skin infection may have the following symptoms:
d) The itchiness is disturbing your sleep
With reference to www.uptodate.com
Fasting Before SurgeryLEARN MORE
What does "fasting" mean?
"Fasting" means not eating or drinking anything for a period of time. People sometimes need to fast before getting a medical test or having a procedure done.
Will I need to fast before my surgery?
You might. It depends on what kind of surgery you are having, and what kind of anesthesia you need. "Anesthesia" is a medical term for different types of medicine they give people before surgery or other procedures. These medicines ensure you do not feel pain during your surgery or procedure.
If you have a scheduled surgery or procedure, your doctor or nurse will tell you if you need to fast before it. If you are only having a “local anesthetic”, you probably won't need to fast. A “local anesthetic” is where medicine is used to numb part of your body. It can be given as a shot, or as a cream, gel, or spray that goes on the skin.
You will need to fast if you are having any of the following:
(1) General anesthesia – This type of anesthesia makes you unconscious so you can't feel, see, or hear anything during surgery. Some of the medicines are given through a thin tube that goes into a vein, called an "IV." Others are gases that you breathe in.
(2) Regional anesthesia – This type of anesthesia blocks pain in one area of your body, such as an arm, leg, or the lower half of your body. The doctor will inject medicine around the nerves that go to the area where you are getting surgery.
(3) Sedation – This is the term for getting medicines to make you relax and feel sleepy.
Why do I need to fast?
If you have food or liquid in your stomach, some of it could get into your lungs while you are under anesthesia. Normally, your body is able to prevent what's in your stomach from entering your lungs. But anesthesia medicines make it harder for your body to prevent this.
When food or liquids from the stomach get into the lungs, doctors call it "aspiration." This is rare, but can be dangerous if it does happen. That's because it can lead to infection, lung damage, or breathing problems.
How long before my surgery do I have to stop eating and drinking?
For some people and some procedures, the duration to stop eating and drinking can be different from this general recommendation, such as people with diabetes. It is important you follow your doctor or nurses’ instructions carefully.
The general recommendation
Should I keep taking my medicines before surgery?
It depends. Your doctor or nurse will tell you which medicines you should take and when. Some medicines need to be stopped before surgery. But for others, it's important that you keep taking them as usual. You might also get new medicines to take before surgery.
Take the medicines your doctor or nurse tells you to. If you need to take medicine right before your surgery, you can take it with a sip of water. If you normally take your medicine with something else, like applesauce, talk to your doctor or nurse about what to do.
What will happen if I don't fast?
If you don't follow instructions about when to stop eating and drinking, you could be putting your health at risk. Be honest with your doctor or nurse if you did not follow the rules, even if it was an accident. If this happens, your surgery might need to be delayed until a later time.
Adult Vaccination ImportanceLEARN MORE
How do vaccines work?
When pathogens like virus or bacteria enter our bodies and our bodies do not produce enough antibodies to fight them away, we fall sick.
Vaccines are made from a killed, weakened, or portion of virus or bacteria. Once injected into our bodies, the bodies will create the antibodies against the particular disease. When the virus or bacteria enter our bodies again, our body will recognize this disease and “fight” it.
How do vaccines protect my loved ones and me?
Vaccination builds up your immunity against the disease you are vaccinated. They are the safest way to protect you, your loved ones and your community from serious and sometimes deadly diseases.
If only a few are immunized, contagious diseases spread easily from one to another. When enough people are immunized, you and your loved ones will be protected from the diseases.
What are the diseases that can be vaccinated for protection?
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can be spread through sex, mother to infant, contact with infected body fluids and contaminated needles. Can cause liver failure, liver cirrhosis (hardening) and liver cancer.
Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated water, food or surfaces. Most serious complication is death, which is rare.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)is a sexually transmitted viral infection. Can also be infected by direct contact with infected mouths or genitals. HPV can cause cervix, mouth and throat cancers.
Mumps is viral illness that is spread through coughs and sneezes. It is a painful disease and can also affect your brain, ovaries and testicles. At times, result in hearing loss.
Pneumococcal is a bacteria causing severe pneumonia (lung infection) in older people and those with chronic diseases.
Influenza is a viral infection spread through droplets and can infect a large group of people very fast causing outbreaks. Influenza can cause serious lung problems, infection of the blood and even death.
Measles is a very infectious viral illness spread through coughs and sneezes. It can cause chest infection, fits, serious brain damage and even deaths.
Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly contagious airborne viral infection. It causes fever and itchy rashes that become crusts. Can also cause brain problems and hospitalization.
Rubella is a viral illness, also known as German measles. Rubella during pregnancy very serious. It can cause blindness, deafness, heart problems and even brain damage. Pregnant women should consider vaccination.
Meningococcal is a serious bacterial infection affecting the lining and tissues around the brain. It can also cause infection of the blood, resulting in death.
How often do I need to receive vaccinations?
Where can I have these vaccinations?
Different hospitals and clinics have different vaccinations depending on the government regulations. Please do check with us on the current availability of the vaccine you are interested in having.
Talk with your Family doctor to have a personalized vaccination plan to protect you and your family against the mentioned diseases. If you are planning on traveling, it is important you discuss with your Family doctor ahead of time, as addition immunization may be required.
For more information on vaccination available in Shanghai, you can contact:
Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Shanghai Health and Family Planning Hotline: 12320
This written content is to better inform you. It does not substitute medical advice. Please seek the advice of your doctor and healthcare professionals if you have any questions about this material.
About Nausea and Vomiting After SurgeryLEARN MORE
What causes nausea and vomiting after surgery?
There is a part of our brain called the “vomiting center”. When this portion of our brain is stimulated, it will cause people to feel nauseous and vomit. Nausea and vomiting after surgery is a common problem. Certain people, types of anesthesia, and types of surgery trigger this “vomiting center” easier than others.
Who has a higher chance of experiencing nausea and vomiting after surgery?
The chance of experiencing nausea and vomiting is increased for the following people:
• Children older than 3 years old
• Women, especially young women
• People who are overweight, pregnant, or have anxiety
• People who have a history of motion sickness
What are other factors that increase this risk?
The following factors also increase the chances of experiencing nausea and vomiting after surgery:
a) The type of anesthesia used. In general, most medications used for general anesthesia trigger the “vomiting center” easily. Thus, those who receive general anesthesia instead of local anesthesia are at increased risk
b) The duration of general anesthesia and surgery. The longer the duration, the higher the risk
c) The type of surgery performed. Ear, nose and throat surgery, laparoscopic surgery, gynecological surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgery increase the risk
d) How well the patient recovers after surgery. Those who have pain, low blood pressure, low blood oxygen, or gastrointestinal irritation after surgery are at increased risk
In short, regardless of whether it is because of the medications or surgical procedures, once they stimulate the nerves, they will trigger the brain’s “vomiting center”, resulting in nausea and vomiting.
What are the consequences of nausea and vomiting after surgery?
Persistent nausea and vomiting after surgery increases pain. It might also cause surgical wound bleeding and prolong wound healing time.
Nausea and vomiting can also cause electrolyte and water imbalance, affecting the overall recovery and healing time.
What are some measures to prevent or control nausea and vomiting after surgery?
To a large extent, nausea and vomiting after surgery can be prevented and controlled.Many studies have found that taking anti-nausea medications before surgery can prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery to a certain extent. It has also been found that the effects of using two or more types of anti-nausea medications are better than just using a single type of medication.
About AsthmaLEARN MORE
This information will help you to:
• Learn about asthma
• Understand the types of medicines used to treat asthma
• Know when to seek medical care
What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease of the bronchioles, the tubes that carry air to the lungs.
When someone has an acute asthma attack, the airways get narrow and may fill with mucus. This makes it hard to breathe. For someone having an asthma attack, it’s like breathing through a narrow straw.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Symptoms can be different between adults and children. They also vary among individuals. Depending on how fast and how serious the symptoms are, each asthma attack can be very different.
Early symptoms may include:
• Difficulty speaking
• Chest tightness
• Trouble breathing
• Trouble exercising or playing
How will my doctor treat my asthma?
Inhalers and medicine delivery devices
Most asthma medicines are kept in a small, handheld device called an inhaler. To help the medicine reach the lungs more easily, your child may also use a spacer or a valved holding chamber as an add-on device. Most children can be taught to use inhalers directly or with the right spacer device.
A child who cannot use an inhaler may need to use a nebulizer. This device turns the liquid medication into a mist that can be inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask.
Quick-relief or “rescue” medicines
These medicines are also called bronchodilators. They help to open the bronchioles, making it easier to breathe. Used to treat an acute asthma attack, rescue medicine should be used when asthma symptoms first occur.
The most common rescue medicine used is albuterol (Ventolin).
Long-term controller maintenance medicines
Controller medicines are used daily to keep asthma under control, reducing the severity and frequency of attacks.
Types of controller medicines include:
1. Inhaled corticosteroids
These medicines help to decrease swelling and inflammation, making asthma attacks less frequent. They are usually taken every day, even if your child is not experiencing any symptoms.
Examples include Flixotide and Pulmicort.
2. Long-acting bronchodilators
These help keep the airways from narrowing. They are usually used along with inhaled corticosteroids.
An example includes Seretide.
Your doctor may recommend steroids taken by mouth (in pill or liquid form) if the asthma is not well controlled. They reduce inflammation and can help the airways become more responsive to inhalers. Steroids usually start to work within about six hours so are not used in acute attacks. Your child should continue to take quick-relief and long-term controller medications while taking oral steroids.
What else do I need to know about asthma?
Follow all instructions you have been given about treating and controlling asthma, including:
• Recognizing and avoiding asthma triggers
• Having an asthma action plan with your health care provider
• Knowing how to use inhalers and related medicine delivery devices
• Knowing how to care for, store, and clean the inhaler mouthpiece, face mask, spacer, and valved holding chamber
• Knowing how to refill prescriptions
When should I seek emergency care?
If your child has any of these warning signs, call 120 or seek emergency medical care immediately.
When your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it is important that he or she is monitored by a healthcare provider. Be sure to take your child to all follow-up healthcare appointments.
X-ray TestLEARN MORE
What is an X-ray Imaging?
X-ray beams are a form of wavelength radiation with strong, penetrating rays. They pass through all body fluids, soft tissue, and structures easily, except highly dense tissue such as bones. The shades of grey shown on the film or imaging plate indicate the amount of X-ray beams that are passed through the body. Thus, bones that allow little X-ray beams to pass through show up white while lungs which allow more X-ray beams to pass through show up black. The medical imaging doctor interprets differing degrees of gray shades to make a diagnosis. These are the basic principles of X-rays.
A routine X-ray imaging is an essential part of the assessment and diagnosis for many diseases. It is a fast, convenient and inexpensive test. However routine X-ray imaging cannot accurately detect problems in soft tissue. Therefore, at times a more complex type of imaging may be required such as a CT scan or MRI.
When is X-ray imaging usually done?
A routine X-ray imaging is usually done to assess or diagnose:
• Problems related to lungs, bones, and teeth, such as pneumonia, bone fractures, and decayed teeth
• Joint and spinal abnormalities, such as osteoarthritis and vertebral compression fractures
• Certain cardiac disorders, showing the shape and size of the heart, such as rheumatic heart disease
• Tumors, such as lung tumors and breast tumors
• Fluid accumulation, such as fluid in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract
Are X-ray beams harmful to our bodies?
The amount of radiation from X-ray beams determines whether an X-ray imaging is harmful to our bodies.
The amount of radiation from X-ray beams used in X-ray imaging is usually very low and is very unlikely to be harmful to the body. However repeat X-ray imaging may result in some risk because the radiation accumulated may damage some cells in the body, possibly leading to cell mutations which may induce cancer.
Can pregnant women have X-ray imaging done?
Established medical organizations such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), state that the radiation amount from a single X-ray imaging used for diagnosis generally do not harm an embryo or fetus, and X-ray imaging of the head, limbs, and chest are also generally harmless.
We still recommend, however, that pregnant women avoid medical imaging using X-ray beams where possible, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy. This includes routine X-ray imaging and CT scans, especially of the abdomen and pelvic cavity. Pregnant women can choose alternative types of medical imaging, such as ultrasound or MRI, which do not harm the fetus. If, a routine X-ray imaging is still required due to clinical situation, pregnant women can wear lead-protective clothing to protect and reduce radiation exposure to their abdomen and pelvic cavity.
Ultrasound ScanLEARN MORE
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a form of medical imaging using sound wave frequencies transmission and echoes to create images of the soft tissue and organs within our bodies. These images can be films/pictures or video recordings. Ultrasound physicians interpret the characteristics of these images to make diagnoses.
Ultrasound is a safe and painless test that does not involve exposure to radiation. This test is often down lying down on a bed. Your ultrasound doctor will apply a gel that helps with sound waves transmission over the area that is required to be scanned. After which, he/she will move a probe over the skin surface to obtain images from different angles.
Ultrasound scans usually take less than 30 minutes, depending on the body area that is being examined. Complex ultrasound scans may require more time.
When is an ultrasound used?
An ultrasound is used when your doctor needs to determine the size, shape and consistency of your internal organs and soft tissue. These organs include the heart and blood vessels, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, thyroid, breast, uterus, and ovaries. Ultrasound can also be used to determine whether lumps are solid tumors or fluid-filled cysts.
Ultrasound is also often used for ultrasound-guided tissue biopsies, because of its excellent ability to locate tissue.
What should I prepare before and after the ultrasound?
No special preparation is needed. Unless specifically advised, you can eat and drink normally before and after your ultrasound test and continue taking medications. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing during the test to expose the body area being examined easier. Sometimes you may be asked to wear a gown. You may also need to remove any jewelry you’re wearing.
For ultrasound scans on certain body area, you may need to:
What limitations does an ultrasound have?
Gas can easily interfere when obtaining images using ultrasound. Therefore, ultrasound is not an ideal method for examining hollow organs containing gas, such as the lungs or digestive tract. Ultrasound is also not useful for examining the internal structure of bones (except for infants).
Information on Urinary Tract Infection CareLEARN MORE
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary tract, which is the path that urine takes when it leaves the body. The parts of the urinary tract that can be infected include the bladder, urethra, and/or kidneys. The following terms refer to the place that is infected.
• Cystitis (bladder Infection)
• Urethritis (urethra infection)
• Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
It is important to treat UTIs to keep your kidneys healthy.
What causes a UTI?
UTIs, bladder infections in particular, are usually caused by a type of germ (bacteria) called Escherichia coli (E. coli). These bacteria are usually near the anus (the opening through which the feces leave our body).
Some other bacteria, for example sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and vaginal infections, can also cause UTIs affecting the urethra.
Who has a higher chance of developing a UTI?
Women in general have a higher risk of getting a UTI than men, because the distance between the opening of the urethra and the anus is shorter in women.
The chance of getting a UTI is also increased for people who:
• Are sexually active or engage in anal sex
• Use diaphragms or spermicide for birth control
• Are pregnant or menopausal
• Have a history of bladder or kidney infection
• Have conditions that change or block the natural flow of urine, such as kidney stones
• Have diabetes
Do I need to send my urine for culture to identify the bacteria?
Based on your symptoms, your doctor will decide if you need a urine culture. Your doctor may request for a urine culture test if the UTI is more than a simple bladder infection or if you are pregnant or have repeat infection.
How will my doctor treat my UTI?
Your doctor will give you antibiotic pills to eliminate the bacteria. It is important that you complete the course.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also give you medicine to reduce discomfort and the urge to urinate.
Feel free to talk to your pharmacist about the common side-effects and allergic reactions for the relevant medicines.
What can I do at home to feel better?
• Continue to finish all the antibiotic pills, even if you start to feel better
• Drink plenty of water. This helps to flush the bacteria out of the body
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can irritate your bladder
• Apply a warm pad to your abdomen to reduce bladder discomfort
How can I prevent getting a UTI again?
• Drink plenty of water
• Practice good perineal hygiene. Always wipe from front to the back
• Wear cotton underwear. Bacteria grows better in moist places. Cotton does not trap moisture
• Drink more fluid and void before and after intercourse
• Avoid holding your urine. Go to the toilet when you need to
• Avoid soaking in bathtubs for long periods of time
When should I see my doctor again?
Please contact your doctor if you have any of the following:
• Persistent discomfort or a condition which worsens after two days of antibiotic therapy
• Fever. A temperature higher than 38°C
• Chills or night sweats
• Severe flank, back, or abdominal pain
• Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Blood in urine
With reference to www.uptodate.com
Information on Sore Throat CareLEARN MORE
Sore throats are common. A sore throat is often a throat infection or pharyngitis.
Sore throats are usually caused by 2 types of germs—viruses and bacteria. Most sore throats are caused by viruses. Only 10% of sore throats are caused by bacteria.
You or your child has seen the doctor and is likely to have a sore throat caused by a virus.
Do I need antibiotics?
If your sore throat is caused by a virus, you do not need antibiotics. A sore throat caused by viral infection gets better on its own with at-home care, usually within five to ten days.
What medicines will my doctor give me?
Your doctor will most likely give you medication and lozenges to relieve your throat pain or discomfort. Depending on your symptoms, doctor may also give you medicines to relieve running nose and cough.
What about alternative remedies?
There are limited evidences on what works and what does not for common alternative remedies. Some of these remedies may not be safe. Check with your doctor before using them.
What are the things I can do at home to feel better?
• Get plenty of sleep and avoid talking
• Drink plenty of fluids to keep your throat moist. This helps with swallowing and prevents dehydration
• Drink soothing beverages and eat soft foods
• Gargle with salt water several times a day to help relieve throat pain
• Add moisture to the air in your home. Use a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer. Be sure to clean it daily
• Avoid spicy foods or acidic foods that irritate your throat
• Avoid smoking or secondhand smoke
How much salt should I put in my salt water gargle?
About 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon (1.5 to 3.0 g) of salt in one cup (250 ml) of warm water.
When can I return to work? When can my child return to school?
You can resume your usual activities as soon as you feel better. Wear a mask if the air pollution is bad to prevent further throat discomfort.
How can I avoid getting a sore throat again?
Reduce your chance of having a viral infection by exercising regularly and eating healthily.
Also practice good hand washing habits, washing your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection.
When should I see my doctor again?
Please contact your doctor if your sore throat does not improve within two days or if you have a fever.
Also contact your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
• Difficulty swallowing
• Drooling (especially for children)
• Trouble talking or opening your mouth
• Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks
• Body aches, joint pain, or earache
• Skin rash
• Nausea or vomiting
• Constant sleepiness or tiredness
• Increased thirst or dry and sticky mouth with less urine than usual (one wet diaper or void in six hours) or total lack of tears when crying
When do I need to go to the hospital or emergency department?
Call the ambulance or go to the nearest hospital right away if you have:
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Shortness of breath
With reference to www.uptodate.com
A Guide for Surgical PatientsLEARN MORE
When you have surgery, highly skilled professionals will care for you. Beforehand, learn what to expect and how to prepare. This helps you relax, and may speed your recovery. Read this booklet and ask questions to learn more.
1. Before Surgery
Talking with your Doctor
Your doctor will help you learn about your surgery. Make a list of questions to ask. Your list might include these:
• How do I prepare for surgery?
• What day and time do I arrive?
• Where do I check in?
• Are there any documents or forms that I need to bring along?
• How long will I be in surgery?
• When can I see my family?
Your Pre-op Exam
Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, do a physical exam, and order some tests. It may include:
• Blood tests, which provide information about your blood and body chemistry
• An ECG (electrocardiogram) records how your heart functions
• A urinalysis (analysis of your urine) gives information about your kidneys and bladder
• A chest X-ray shows an image of your lungs
• Other tests may also be done
If you have results from those or other tests at home, bring them with you when you check in for surgery. Without them, your surgery may be delayed or cancelled.
Preparing for Surgery
Follow your doctor's instructions before surgery. Use the checklists at the end of this booklet. And follow these guidelines:
• Tell your doctor about any medications you take, including aspirin, herbs, or vitamins. Ask if you should continue taking them
• If you smoke, make a plan to quit or cut down
• Ask your doctor if you will need a blood transfusion during surgery and if so, how to prepare for it
• If you are having abdominal surgery, ask what you need to do to clear your bowel
The Night Before Surgery
• If instructed, wash with antibacterial soap where the incision will be made. Hair on this area will be shaved or trimmed at the hospital
• Follow your surgeon's instruction for fasting before surgery
• Don't smoke
• If you've been told to keep taking a medication, take it with small sips of water
Arriving for Surgery
Bring your insurance documents and any forms you need with you. When you check in, you will get an ID bracelet and be taken to a room to get ready. Your family and friends may be asked to stay in a waiting area.
If anesthesia is required, the anesthesiologist will talk with you about anesthesia (medicine to block pain and keep you comfortable during surgery) before surgery begins.
2. Going into Surgery
Before surgery, you may be given medication to relax yourself. You may be taken on a stretcher or in a wheelchair to an operating room. Along the way, you may notice other patients, surgical staff, or equipment.
In the Operating Room
The operating room (OR) is staffed by a team of highly-trained professionals. The OR provides the most sterile and safe surgical setting possible. Your surgical team usually includes the following members：
• A surgeon, responsible for your overall care, will lead your surgical team
• A surgical assistant may help on many major surgeries
• An anesthesiologist provides anesthesia or medication, and monitors vital signs
• A scrub nurse sets up instruments and assists the surgeon
• A circulating nurse prepares the OR, makes sure sterile methods are followed, and helps other team members
• An IV (intravenous line) will be used to provide fluids to your body, or give you medication or blood. An IV feels like a pinprick when it is inserted
• Monitors show your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, etc.)
• An electrocardiography records your heart functions. It is connected by wires to round sticky patches that are placed on your upper body
• A pulse oximeter is placed on your finger to monitor your blood's oxygen level
• Blood pressure cuff is placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure
• There will be surgical lights overhead and other equipment around you in the room to help in your operation, and to make sure you are safe and comfortable
3. After Surgery
After surgery, you'll be brought to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU, or Recovery Room). You'll receive constant care from a post anesthesia care nurse. When you're coming out of surgery, you doctor may call or visit your family or friends to let them know how you're doing.
In the PACU
As the anesthetic wears off, you'll “wake up” in the PACU. Noises may sound louder than normal. You may have blurry vision, a dry mouth, chills or nausea. A nurse will check your dressing and blood pressure often. You may have an IV, or other tubes used for drainage. If the area operated on hurts or burns, ask your nurse for pain medication if you need it. You may be asked to do deep breathing and coughing to help clear your lungs. Your nurse may ask you to move around in bed, since even these small movements will help you recover faster.
After the PACU
The PACU nurse works with the anesthesiologist to decide when you can be moved from the PACU. It's often an hour or more after surgery.
If you're an inpatient, you'll be taken to your hospital room, where you'll stay for at least one night. Your family or friends may see you the same day as your surgery.
If you're an outpatient, you'll stay in the PACU to recover until discharge. Be sure to have an adult friend or family member drive you home after surgery.
4. Your Recovery
Your doctor and nurses will check on you after surgery. Follow your healthcare team's advice about walking, deep breathing, and eating. If you feel pain or nausea, tell them.
Walking helps your blood flow better. It also helps your body functions get back to normal. Be sure to have someone help you the first time you get out of bed, and when you begin walking.
Food may be hard to digest after surgery. So, you may have an IV for nutrition when you're in the hospital. When the doctor says you can begin eating, a dietitian or the nurse will help decide what foods are best for you. You'll start with liquids. Later, you'll eat solid foods. At home, follow your doctor's orders about eating and drinking.
Breathing and Coughing
In the hospital, you may be asked to use a spirometer for deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing clears the lungs and helps prevent pneumonia. This may be difficult at first. If you have an incision, holding a pillow over it when you cough can help.
Coping with Pain
You may receive pain medication in the hospital or be sent home with a prescription. Everyone has a different level of pain. So if you have pain or nausea, don't be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse for medication. Also let your doctor or nurse know if you have any side effects from the medication.
5. Going Home
Your doctor will let you know when you can go home. It is natural to wonder how you will care for yourself. Your doctor or nurse will give you guidelines. Be sure to ask them any questions you might have. Having support at home will help, too. Please contact your doctor if you experience any discomfort.
You're likely to spend most of your time recovering from surgery at home. Make sure to plan your home care. Also, you'll need to visit your doctor's clinic sometime after you leave the hospital. Be sure to keep these appointments. Below are some topics to discuss with your doctor or nurse before you go home.
• Pain control
• Bandages and dressings
• Stitches, staples, and incision care
• Signs of infection
• Home help
• Follow-up visits with doctors
• Driving and other activities
• Returning to work
Leaving the Hospital
A hospital staff member will take you to your car in a wheelchair. You won't be allowed to drive yourself home, so make sure you have an adult friend or family member available. At home, rely on family or friends. The more they know about your health and surgery, the more help they can provide you. Your nurse can talk to them about their questions and concerns.
A. Your Pre-Surgery Checklist
• Call your doctor if you have a change in your health. Even a cold or flu can delay your surgery
• If you'll be staying overnight, we will prepare personal toiletries, pajamas, robe, and slippers for you
• Bring a list of your medications (medication name, dosage, and how often you take them)
• Wear comfortable, loose clothing
• Remove dentures and all metallic materials on the body
• Leave valuables (cash, watch, jewelry, etc.) at home
• Remove all nail polish, lipstick, and other makeup before surgery
• Ask an adult friend or family member to drive you home
• Ensure that you have arranged to have people looking after you, providing you with everything you need once you return home
B. Checklist for Important Information
• Date and time of surgery
• Phone number
• Policy number
• Doctor's name
• Doctor's phone number
• Date and times of follow-up appointments