The Day Of Surgery
Today is two days after surgery for rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder and I want to share the complete experience of the surgery day in an effort to help you understand what you can generally expect in an effort to minimize some of the anxiety.
Surgery is stressful to most people and the anxiety of not knowing the steps leading up to surgery are hardly shared. If you have an idea of what you can expect you can minimize your anxiety. I had a complete tear of the large muscle in the left shoulder called the supraspinatus muscle. It had to be repaired and was done so arthroscopically: micro surgery.
I received a telephone call the day before surgery as you will advising what time to come to the hospital. I was advised to be there at 5;30 am at New York University Hospital- Langone in New York City on 17th Street and Second Avenue.
My surgery was scheduled for 7;30 am and normally you are required to be at the location 2 hours before surgery. Upon arrival you check in so they can validate who you are before sending you to the pre-op holding area. Once in the pre-op area they place you in a little cubicle where they provide a changing gown, socks, undershorts to be worn. While in this holding area the nurse will come in to review your previous day and earlier morning , ask what medications you have taken and what medical conditions you may have and what surgeries you have had. Also asking when was the last time you ate or drank. If you have any hair in the area you are being operated on they will shave that area as they did my upper shoulder. Another nurse will come in and insert a port for the anesthesia. Your blood pressure, temperature and pulse oxygen rate will be taken.
My orthopedic surgeon came in and he spoke to me about the surgery, what he was going to do and how long it may take. After he left the anesthesiologist met with me to discuss what effect the anesthesia would have and how long it would last post op. Anesthesia now has both short and longer term effects. More on this later.
Close to 7;30 I was walked to the operating room where they placed me on surgical table which is thin and had 2 long extensions for your arms and administered anesthesia to make me comfortable and out cold within a few minutes. A regional anesthesia block was then introduced to cover the region of my body in which the operation was being done . So I was numb in the general left shoulder region. In addition the anesthesia used now provides a longer-term effect in that can last from 24-72 hours after surgery keeping pain at bay.
I am now about 55 hours post op and feel limited pain in my shoulder. Remember anesthesia is used for allowing you to sleep during the operation as well as helping you with pain minimization after surgery.
The operation lasted 55 minutes and I woke up in the recovery area about 8;50 am. You come out of the anesthesia fairly quickly and the nurses monitor your vital signs. They question you in terms of any discomfort you may be having. I was in the recovery area for about 2 hours given something to drink and some cookies and was released to my Daughter to take me home. Someone must sign you out.
Next stop is to see my surgeon in several days and to start the rehabilitation. I want to be back playing competitive full court basketball by the beginning of September 2022.