The Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York Presbyterian Hospital is dedicated to providing the best possible care of patients undergoing thoracic procedures. Our board certified team of thoracic anesthesiologists work closely with our thoracic surgeons to ensure a safe and comfortable hospital stay for our patients.
Prior to Your Operation:
Typically, you will be seen in our Pre-Admission Testing office (P.A.T) 3-10 days prior to your scheduled surgery. Here, you will be asked questions about your past medical, surgical and anesthetic history. It is also a chance for you to ask questions specifically about the type of anesthesia you will be receiving. Generally, patients who have thoracic procedures receive general anesthesia. You can also discuss your post-operative pain management plan options at this time.
Please confirm all the medications you are taking (including herbal and over the counter meds) with the PAT clinic. Most medications need to be continued on the day of surgery unless specifically told to discontinue by your referring physician, surgeon and/or the PAT clinic.
The Day Before Surgery:
Try to spend time doing something enjoyable and relaxing; have a nice meal and get a good night’s rest, but remember: NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT. If you need to take your medications in the morning, you may do so with a sip of water unless specifically instructed not to. Please clarify this with your surgeon or at the PAT clinic visit. Also, remember to bring any household items such as your favorite pillow, slippers, and toiletries that you feel would make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible.
The Day of Surgery:
You will be seen in the holding area of the operating room. You will have a chance to meet with your surgeon and anesthesia team. Please feel free to ask any additional questions you might have at this time.
Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you will be seen by our acute pain team. We are very concerned with your comfort after the operation. In some cases, we may recommend an epidural catheter for post-operative pain control.
An individualized recovery plan is developed for every patient depending on the type of surgery, your past medical history and age. After your procedure, you will go to either to the Cardiothoracic ICU (CTICU), or the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit) after which you will be transferred to your room. If you have an epidural catheter, the acute pain team will see you daily. They will adjust your pain management plan as required to make you as comfortable as possible during your hospital stay.