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How time is spent in the operating room during bariatric surgery

The time a patient is requested from his private room to the operating room and back, seems to come out of an Albert Einstein’s theory in which time can pass very slow for the patients companion, at a normal pace for NUBARICS® surgical team and super fast for patients with no track of time and the sensation their procedure occurred in the blink of an eye.

Patients’ companions and family back home may think the time they spent out of their room, is what the surgeons needed to perform their procedure, sometimes asking if something went wrong since they were expecting a 60-minute surgery. Well, let me explain, the surgical procedure indeed takes the expected time, nevertheless, that period is part of a longer protocol. For your peace of mind this blog uncovers the full protocol and how time is handled during surgery; share this document with your support team back home and your companion.

From the private room to the surgical area.

Nurses take patients and their medical file to the operating room transfer unit, consider this area of the hospital like the frontier between the sterilized operating room area and the rest of the hospital; the operating room nurses can not leave the cleanest area of the hospital and nurses from other areas can not go in.

Give or take 10 minutes.

Waiting to enter the operating room.

In the preoperative area, patients wait for the operating room to be set for their surgery. Hospitals, which are similar to airplanes, are under schedule, commonly on time, and sometimes have delays.

Give or take 5 minutes.

Once in the operating room.

Anesthesiologists welcome patients and start their protocol by installing chest electrodes, pulse oximeter and blood pressure cuff for cardiac and oxygenation monitoring during surgery. They will also initiate medication needed before the anesthetic protocol. They will once again explain about their medication effects and will do the expected “count to ten” exercise.

Give or take 5 minutes.

The surgeon and his surgical team start their preparation for surgery once the patient is fully anesthetized. First, surgeons wash hands and dress on sterile surgical gowns, masks, hats, and gloves; while a surgical nurse is cleansing the skin of the area to be exposed during surgery. Second, surgeons cover the patient with sterile drapes from head to toes, except for the abdomen. Third, surgeons connect, calibrate, and test surgical equipment, while the surgical nurse sets up all of the necessary sterile surgical instruments.

Give or take 5 minutes.

The surgical procedure is now about to start, after almost half an hour since the patient left his room. Surgical time starts when a surgical instrument touches the patient and ends with the last stitch. Consider 50 to 60 minutes for the gastric sleeve; 60 to 70 for mini bypass; 90 to 100 for bypass; and up to 120 for the duodenal switch.

Recovery time.

After the surgical procedure is completed the anesthesiologist reverts the anesthetics, nurses remove drapes, dress them in a regular hospital gown, and takes them to recovery area; although has regained consciousness, patients are still sleepy and under the remaining effects of medication. While they nap, nurses will monitor their vital signs, hydrate them with IV fluids and administer medications that surgeons have indicated. Some patients take longer than others to recover to a point where it is safe and comfortable to go back to their room and we don’t rush them. Recovery is an important and period for them, just imagine awakening from a very deep sleep… anybody would like to have enough time to stretch and wake up happy.

Give or take 50 minutes.

Back to their private room.

Patients may still be napping and some may say, “That was fast”. Hopefully, by reading this blog, you have a clear idea of how 135 minutes (give or take) are spent in a hospital during a surgical procedure.

At NUBARICS® we don’t just help people lose weight. We put them in a path to a healthier, happier life.

Call today:

1.619.573.4667 | 1.855.700.2522

Dr. Gabriel Gutierrez

NUBARICS® pre- and post-operative

support coordinator

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