Post Anesthesia Care Unit

  • Your surgeon will speak with your family after surgery. It is very important that your family members are available in the surgery waiting room. If your family must leave the waiting room, they need to tell the representative when they leave and when they return.
  • You will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The time spent in PACU will depend on the type of surgery you have and/or type of anesthesia used.
  • PACU nurses will closely monitor you throughout your recovery and respond to your individual needs. Tell the PACU nurse if you have pain, nausea or other sick feelings.
  • You will receive pain and/or nausea medication to keep you comfortable.
  • You will feel sleepy and your mouth may be dry. You might have a mild sore throat if a tube to help you breathe was used for surgery.
  • If you are in the PACU for longer than two hours, two visitors may be allowed to visit you for five minutes. If the PACU is very busy with patients, you will not be able to have visitors until you transfer to a hospital room.
  • After your vital signs are stable, your pain is under control and you are more awake, you will be transferred to a room in the hospital.
  • If you had an outpatient procedure, you will be discharged from the PACU. For your safety, a responsible adult who is at least 18 years old must go home with you. You may not drive for 24 hours after surgery. You must have a responsible adult to stay with you for 12 hours after surgery.

At Home

After surgery, it is important that you rest. Do not do any of the following for 24 hours after your surgery: drive, drink alcoholic beverages, make critical decisions, use chemical substances, or take drugs/medications not approved by your surgeon.

If you have any questions about your follow-up care, please call your surgeon.


If you had outpatient surgery, a nurse will call you the next business day after your surgery. The nurse will ask how you are doing and answer any questions you may have.