After your surgery is complete, you will be transferred to the PACU. This area of the hospital is where every surgical patient goes post-operative. You will be evaluated by Dr. Song as well as trained hospital staff that will monitor your condition. As you slowly recover from anesthesia, your vital signs, neurological status and motor function will be accessed regularly. Many patients will notice a dramatic improvement in their symptoms they had pre-operatively. Once the PACU staff feels you are stable for transfer, you will be moved to a more private setting either in the ICU, Step down ICU or Neurosurgical/Ortho floor.
At this point, our main goal will be for you to start a clear liquid diet and to control your pain and other post-operative symptoms (nausea, drowsiness). As your condition improves, you will be asked to increase your ambulation and to start oral medication for your symptoms. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy will be available to help you to recovery. Your incision and drain will be evaluated daily for any abnormalities.
If you had a Foley catheter placed in your bladder post-operative, this will be removed once you are up and around. You will be discharged home when the hospital staff and your family decide it is safe to do so, usually within 1–5 days.