After surgery, you will be transported from the operating room to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Here you will be monitored until you are ready for discharge. Although the time varies, patients are discharged from PACU when discharge criteria are met.
The Post Anesthesia Care Unit nurse determines whether you are ready for discharge based on factors including:
- Time—most patients stay in the PACU for 30-60 minutes
- Vital signs
- Pain control
- Bleeding control
- Absence of nausea and/or vomiting
- Procedure-specific criteria
Upon being cleared for discharge by a PACU nurse, a responsible adult will need to drive you home. Age is not the only criteria for determining who qualifies as a responsible adult. The person taking you home must be capable of following instructions provided by the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and reporting any post-surgery or post-anesthesia complications.