What to Expect from Surgical Anesthesia

What to Expect Before Surgery

You will meet your anesthesiologist before surgery. At that time, he or she will review your medical history, evaluate the needs of your specific surgery, and determine what type of anesthesia is best for your procedure. During this consultation, your anesthesiologist will also make sure you are ready for the operation.

If you have questions or concerns related specifically to your anesthesia care, you can contact the Department of Anesthesiology for a pre-anesthetic consultation.

Do you feel a flu or a cold coming on?

Please be sure to let your doctor and anesthesiologist know about any cold- or flu-like symptoms you may be experiencing prior to surgery. Although a sore throat or stuffed nose may seem insignificant, these health concerns may interfere with anesthesia and increase risk of surgical complications.

Read more about flus, colds, and surgical anesthesia

What to Expect During Surgery

Your anesthesiologist, or someone working with him or her — a resident, a fellow, or a nurse anesthetist — will remain with you throughout the entire surgery. Your anesthesia provider will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and level of awareness during surgery and make adjustments to the anesthetic plan as needed.

What to Expect After Surgery

As soon as you wake from your anesthesia, a member of the operating room team will alert your family members in the waiting room. One family member, and in the case of pediatric patients, both parents and/or guardians, will be able to visit with you in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at this time.

If you are scheduled for an outpatient surgery, you will be discharged to home once the anesthesia has worn off and you have been cleared by your anesthesiologist.

If you are scheduled for an inpatient surgery, you will be discharged to an inpatient hospital room.  If there are concerns about your body’s response to either the surgery or anesthesia, you will remain in the PACU where an  anesthesiologist will manage your care until you are ready to move to a regular hospital room.

Our Specialized Postoperative Units

Pain After Surgery

The goal of postoperative pain management is help manage pain so that it does not distract you from your daily activities and enables you to function and participate with physical therapy. It is to be expected that orthopedic surgery will result in some postoperative pain. To eliminate pain entirely after surgery would require complete anesthesia and would slow down recovery and rehabilitation in the long-run.

Your pain is managed in various ways immediately after surgery. As the pain lessens in the days following surgery, you will be switched to oral medications. Depending on the procedure, your surgeon may prescribe for medication for pain control to be taken after you leave the hospital.


Contact Anesthesiology:

Main Office Number

Main Fax Number

Mailing Address
Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th St.
New York, NY 10021