What You Need to Know About Preparing for Outpatient Surgery

When your doctor explains that you will need outpatient surgery in order to improve a particular condition, it can be a scary thing to hear.

Fortunately, today’s outpatient surgical options are vast, and these surgeries may not even require you to go to the hospital — a secondary surgical center or another facility may be where you are sent for your procedure.

Here’s what you need to know as you’re preparing for an outpatient procedure.

Types of Anesthesia

With outpatient surgery, your surgeon has a few different choices for helping reduce the stress and pain on your body during a procedure. They include:

  • General anesthesia, during which you are completely unconscious during the procedure. This option is the most invasive and is generally used only for major procedures.
  • Regional anesthesia may be delivered through a thin tube in the spine and is used to block a specific region of the body. While you will be awake for the surgery, you will not feel pain in the area that is being operated on.
  • IV sedation or monitored anesthesia can help you feel sleepy or relaxed, although you are still awake. Most often, this type of anesthesia is used for nominal procedures such as colonoscopies and you are unlikely to remember much or anything of the event.
  • Local anesthetic helps numb a very specific area of the skin, such as for repairing a bone.

Preparing for outpatient surgery starts with bringing a friend or family member with you, wearing comfortable clothing and ensuring that you understand the potential side effects before you visit the surgical location.

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