27 September 2015

Intro to Cholecystectomy, Vol. III: Preparation Day

So, I had an appointment for the surgery. However, two days before the surgery, I had to show up at the hospital to do some tests. Basically, this was the operation preparation, where I had to meet with several people in order to make sure that the surgery would proceed safely.

I had an appointment for Wednesday, August 5, at 8:45 in the morning. They didn't tell me to fast or anything, so I had breakfast at home before heading to the hospital. At 8:05 I left the house, and walked to the bus stop. At 8:20 I was at the hospital.

I found the office where I had to go to. I picked a number, and waited until my number was called. There wasn't a lot of waiting time, since the number I picked was the next number to be called, and I only waited for about 5 minutes before being called to go inside the room. This was the administrative section of the visit, where I submitted my paperwork, such as the official notice from my doctor saying I need the surgery, as well as the notice from my insurance saying they would pay for it. This office also gave me a document that states I have been in the hospital for that day.

After that, they told me where to go to next. I had to go downstairs and meet a nurse, which basically was my go-to person for the morning. First, she took my blood pressure (141/95; I was sort of excited I guess), and then she took four vials of my blood for blood work. Then she gave me some forms to fill out, which all related to the upcoming surgery. Those were basically informed consent forms for both the cholecystectomy, as well as the anaesthesia. I would be under general anaesthesia and so there was also informed consent for that.

I waited for just a few minutes before a doctor met with me, which explained again what was going to happen two days later. He also asked for my family history, asking questions whether there are/were sick people in my blood relatives, and whether I had relatives that have/had cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. That lasted about ten minutes.

After that, I went back to the nurse, who then told me to go to the anaesthesiologist. The anaesthesiologist's office was in a different wing of the hospital, so she gave me a map showing details how to go there. I gave my file to the receptionist, who then told me to wait. The waiting time was quite short; after 5 minutes I was called, and the anaesthesiologist explained to me what was going to happen during general anaesthesia. She checked my throat and airways to see if everything is okay, and she asked about my teeth, whether all of them are still firmly in place. After she explained everything, I had the thought that general anaesthesia sounded exciting and frightening at the same time.

After that meeting, I went back to my nurse, who then looked at the file, and said that everything is all set. I finished the whole thing in an hour and a half, even though they told me that I should plan to be there for 3 to 3 and a half hours. She said that she hasn't seen that fast of a turnaround before. Maybe I was simply fortunate.

Oh well, that was that. Preparation day is over. Now the real surgery happens.


  1. Fun fact: I had surgery as a kid and I woke up during general anesthesia. Nothing traumatic to report, the surgery hadn't started. Turned out that I had an allergic reaction to the anesthetic used. Unfortunately, instead of realizing that it wasn't normal for a four-year-old to wake up like that, the doctors pumped more drugs and I went into cardiac arrest and the surgery didn't happen. Meh. I turned out fine though :-)

    1. Zhu,

      Wow, that sounded scary! I am glad that I wasn't allergic to it. The hard thing about allergies is that you don't know you're allergic to it until you actually try it!