Phone: 973-940-3166
Fax: 973-940-3170
Billing: 570-386-2366

What To Expect in the Recovery Room


Surgery, even if it’s an outpatient procedure, can be an unknown and scary thing to face. Patients are surrounded by extensive medical staff, hooked up to monitors, and connected to an IV, and everything may feel extremely foreign. In an effort to make surgery less overwhelming, the Specialty Surgical Center staff wants to prepare patients for what they can expect in the recovery room. After all, it is the first thing they see after waking up from their anesthesia.

The time spent in the recovery room (also referred to as a post-anesthesia care unit) is usually a few hours, but some patients may only need to spend just an hour or less here depending on the surgery. Initially, patients may be given oxygen and have their vitals monitored. This can include everything from temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and other critical measurements. Because some of the effects of the anesthesia may still linger, it’s possible for patients to not remember this stage very closely.

Safety is our highest priority before, during, and after surgery. We want to minimize any risk of post-operative complications, so patients may be asked to move their legs or wear compression socks to prevent blood clots. In addition, patients may be asked to do breathing exercises to lower the risk of post-operative pneumonia. Sometimes patients might feel dizzy as a side effect of the anesthesia, so medication to relieve nausea may be administered through the intravenous line. Pain medication may also be given to the patient at this time.

As a safety precaution, families are not typically allowed in the recovery room within the first 30 minutes. An exception may be made if the patient is a child. If this is the case, there may be a limit that only one parent may visit the child. Families may visit once the patient has moved to Stage II Recovery.

Before patients are discharged and head home, they are given a copy of Specialty Surgical Center’s post-op instructions. This list includes vital information for safe practices at home, so it’s important that patients read it carefully. This may include wound care, medication instructions, diet specifications, recovery times, and much more.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.