OPERATING ROOM CARE OF THE SURGICAL PATIENT
Section I. INTRODUCTION
The patient undergoing surgery is the center of attention and all activity is
focused on him in the operating room for the repair, correction, or relief of a physical
ailment. Even though the patient may appear to be in good health and in for a minor
operative procedure, he still may experience both physical and psychological stress just
as a patient in for a major, more detailed procedure. The patient may be drowsy from
the preoperative medication, but is aware of the sights and sounds around him.
Reassurance is given not only verbally, but also by facial expression, manner, and a
touch or warm grasp of the hand. It is important that events be explained as they
happen. There is no operative procedure, even the most simple, that is without risk.
The patient should never be left alone while waiting for the surgical procedure to begin.
This lesson will include events, people, and procedures that may occur during the
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Ablative Surgery. Surgery performed to remove a diseased organ or other
Biopsy. The removal and examination of tissue from the living body.
Constructive Surgery. Surgery to repair a malformed organ or tissue.
Elective Surgery. Surgery performed for a person's well-being, but not
absolutely necessary for life.
Exploratory Surgery. Surgery performed to confirm the extent of the
pathologic process and sometimes to confirm a diagnosis.
Frozen Section. A technique used in biopsy procedures where tissue
specimens are removed from a patient with a microtome, are rapidly frozen, and then
examined for a possible malignancy.
Palliative Surgery. Surgery performed to relieve the symptoms of a
disease process; for example, removal of portions of a cancerous brain tumor which will
help relieve a patient of some symptoms, but will not lead to a cure because total
removal is not possible.