Once surgery has been completed, you are brought to the recovery
room, which also may be called the post-anesthesia care unit. In the
recovery room, clinical staff will closely monitor you as you recover
from anesthesia. The length of time spent in recovery depends on the
type of surgery performed and the individual patient. While a patient
is in recovery, the clinical staff may do the following:
Monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and
Monitor for any signs of complications
Take the patient's temperature
Check for swallowing or
Monitor the patient's level of consciousness
Check any lines, tubes, or drains
Check the wound
Check intravenous infusions
Monitor the patient's
Maintain the patient's comfort with pain
medication and body positioning
A patient can aid the speed of recovery by doing certain breathing
and moving exercises in the recovery room. Always consult with your
physician before trying the following:
Deep breaths Lying flat for an extended period of time
can cause fluids to accumulate in the lungs. Taking deep breaths
utilizing the entire diaphragm and abdomen can prevent pneumonia
from setting in.
Spirometer A spirometer is a device used by your
physician that assesses lung function. Spirometry, the evaluation of
lung function with a spirometer, is one of the simplest, most common
pulmonary function tests and may be necessary for any/all of the
Determine how well the lungs receive,
hold, and utilize air
Monitor a lung disease
Monitor the effectiveness of treatment
the severity of a lung disease
Determine whether the
lung disease is restrictive (decreased airflow) or obstructive
(disruption of airflow)
Coughing Coughing helps remove chest secretions, which
is another way to prevent pneumonia.
Turning Changing positions while in the recovery bed
helps stimulate circulation and deeper breathing and relieves
Foot and leg exercises Moving the legs and feet
stimulates circulation. Depending on the type of surgery, patients
are encouraged to bend the knee and raise the foot several times, to
"bicycle" and to draw circles with their great toes. You
may be asked to wear special elastic stockings to stimulate
Sometimes a patient is transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU)
for further, close monitoring. Intensive care is most often needed for
patients on artificial ventilation, for patients recovering from heart
attacks or major surgery, for patients in shock, and for patients with
acute renal failure, among other reasons. In intensive care, clinical
staff closely watches the patient 24 hours a day.
Obese people have less sensitive taste buds than normal-weight people, but bariatric surgery may increase their taste sensitivity in addition to helping them shed pounds, finds new research from Stanford University School of Medicine.
After weight-loss surgery, some patients may be at risk for developing severe headaches, a new study suggests.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics)
provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well
as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office
staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.
HOW TO REFER
Fax a referral form with supporting documentation to
Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers