Unless you have circumstances requiring intensive care, you will go from the operating room to the recovery room when your surgical procedure is completed. Your anesthesiologist will accompany you and remain with you until your condition is quite stable. Although most patients awaken within 15 minutes or so after surgery, you may not recall much from the first 30 to 45 minutes in the recovery room.

Your anesthesiologist remains responsible for your care until you leave the recovery room. Common symptoms following surgery and anesthesia are drowsiness, the possibility of nausea, and the possibility of pain in the surgical location. If you should awaken with any discomfort or nausea, the recovery room nurse will administer medication as prescribed by the anesthesiologist. If a breathing tube or airway is used during general anesthesia, you may have a sore throat after surgery.

Depending on what surgical procedure you had, and depending on your individual response, you will either be sent home from the recovery room or admitted to a room in the hospital. In either case, you will usually be ready to leave the recovery room 1 to 2 hours after surgery.

If you are an outpatient (i.e., returning home after surgery),
you must have a responsible adult available to drive you home and assist you at home for the first night following surgery. For the first 24 hours after your anesthesia, refrain from drinking alcohol, driving a car, or making important decisions. It is common to feel sleep and tired after surgery and anesthesia.

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