How Long Do You Stay In Recovery Room After Surgery? (Where To Go?)

How long do you stay in recovery room? It will depend on your body's reaction after the anesthesia wears off.

How long do you stay in the recovery room after surgery? Why do you need to stay in it after your surgery? A surgical operation involves an incision using various tools. Besides that, medical compressors are used in surgery rooms to keep the patient comfortable and breathing.

How long do you stay in the recovery room after surgery?

Healthcare providers bringing the patient to recovery room after surgery.

After long hours inside an operating room, the healthcare workers will bring you to the recovery room. Medical professionals also refer to it as a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).

The post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) is the place where they will let you regain your consciousness safely from anesthesia. Additionally, it is where they will give you post-operative care.

They will automatically admit you to this unit to observe your condition closely after the surgery. It is typical for patients who had surgery that applies anesthesia or sedation.

There are different types of anesthesia applicable during surgery. It helps keep the patient comfortable and pain-free while the procedure is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the doctors will choose the type of anesthesia according to the patient’s health, preference, and the procedure they will undergo.

In actuality, the patient who has undergone surgery can spend 45 minutes to two hours in PACU. However, why would a patient need this? We will find out about that right at this moment.

A patient’s journey inside PACU

After your surgery, the procedure doesn’t stop after settling inside the operating room. The success of an operation depends on the patient’s condition after waking up.

Here are what’s awaiting you after your surgery inside the PACU. However, you might not be aware of it because you are still asleep.

What to expect in PACU?

  • They will still be attaching monitors to you to take your vital signs every five to 15 minutes. Your attending nurse will watch all of your vital signs and help you have noticeable side effects.
  • Additionally, an oxygen mask or nasal prongs might be necessary to help you breathe.
  • From time to time, they will be checking your surgical site’s actual condition.
  • They also need to verify your intravenous fluids.
  • The moment you woke up, you might feel some discomfort. For this reason, a nurse is there to work with you and assist you in making you feel comfortable.
  • Afterward, the anesthesia provider and the operating room nurse will prepare a report. This report will be the basis for planning your aftercare.

Meanwhile, please consider watching this short video that explains more details about a room designated for recovery.

Stay in the recovery room after surgery.

The length of your stay inside the care unit depends on your body’s feedback after your surgery. You can even get out of it in just a short while.

Everyone wants to receive positive feedback after a family member has undergone a surgical operation. The family always looks forward to the great news coming from the surgeon.

PACU serves as your haven as your body recovers from the effect of the anesthesia. Inside this unit, your attending nurse has to pay attention to your breathing in particular.

Moreover, the nurse has to check how your body would react once the anesthesia completely wears off. Everything in the patient’s condition should maintain its stability.

Medical professionals who handle your surgery and aftercare follow criteria to decide if you are good to go. Once you met all thof these criteria, they will determine if you can move to your room or the recovery area.

Scenario after your journey in PACU

Waking up after the surgery is a crucial part of the surgery’s completion. It will signify the complete success of the surgical operation.

Your surgeon will be talking to your family after the surgery. If you are an inpatient and will stay overnight in the hospital, they will take you to your room. In this room, your family can join you while you continue to recover from the operation.

On the other hand, if you are an outpatient and can go home on the same day, they will bring you to the recovery area. One family member can join you in this area.

Afterward, your attending medical worker will provide you aftercare instructions that you need to observe while recovering at home.

Moreover, you will not be able to drive yourself home. Your doctor will not allow this since there could still be side effects from the anesthesia, such as dizziness.

For your safety, do not drive or use any machinery within 24 hours after your operation. Besides that, do not make important decisions and do not drink alcoholic beverages.

What you should focus on is your surgical site’s healing. You also have to observe your body for other potential side effects continuously.

One of these effects is pain. You might need to take pain medications to relieve it. If the pain does not subside, you have to consult your surgeon about it.

Things to remember after a surgery

The majority of patients want to go back sooner to their usual activities after a short rest. However, this is not always the case for everyone.

in recovery room after surgery

Every patient is individually different. They are not similar in health conditions, the complexity of the procedure, and their ability to recover.

For this reason, here are few things to remember after a surgical operation.

  • Do not rush going back to your usual daily activities. Make sure that you have sufficient rest and completely healed your surgical site.
  • However, if your doctor already cleared you to move around, do it. Do not stay long on your bed. If you don’t move your body, it leads to various problems in the long run.
  • Always follow your surgeon’s prescription. If you take more than what your doctor prescribed, it can make you addicted to it. Aside from that, you will become constipated or nauseous.
  • While you are recovering, you have to eat well. It would be best to maintain healthy foods and beverages. It will help fasten your recovery.
  • Some surgeries may require working with a physical therapist. In this case, do not miss a single session to become stronger and recover safely.
  • Moreover, observe your surgical site. Keep an eye on it for potential infection. If you notice something unusual, it would be best to contact your surgeon immediately.

Surgery is an invasive procedure. It is better not to take your recovery lightly. Take time until you reached your complete healing.


In general, staying inside a PACU is essential. It is where the medical professionals can continue assessing your condition after the surgical operation.

It is also their way of monitoring how safe you are, especially when your anesthesia starts to wear off. Inside this room, they can react quickly if anything unusual happens.

Patient safety is the number one priority of every healthcare provider. Whatever it takes, they will do everything to help the patient recover.

It is their passion to provide healthcare service to their patients throughout the surgical journey. Moreover, they will continuously monitor the patient until they are ready to move to their room or the recovery area.

Everyone associated with the surgery, including the patient, the family, and the medical professionals, are in the same boat. They look forward to excellent results after the operation.

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