What Can I Expect in the Operating Room?

Question: What can I expect to experience in the operating room?

Answer: As much as we glorify the operating room on 'ER' and the other medical shows, it's certainly much more frightening when you're the one walking into the operating room. Women who come to the operating room for a breast biopsy usually have never been there for any other reason. Maybe you've had a baby, but almost never have you been in a situation where you're in a cold, freezing cold, operating room. There will be nurses there. In an outpatient setting, usually these people are very sensitive to your level of anxiety and concern. So generally, the staff will be very, very friendly. If you're at a university setting, you may have residents or medical students around.

But in general, what you should expect is the staff who would help do the operation, help the surgeon, the nurses, as well as your surgeon. The room will be cold, the bed will be narrow. Depending upon whether or not you're having your procedure done under local anesthesia or with sedation, you may have an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist there with you to make you more comfortable. If the procedure is done under local, there will not be an anesthesiologist in the room and the surgeon will help you by giving you the local and calming you and talking to you through the procedure.

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