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Care of the patient undergoing any surgical procedure begins pre‐operatively. The patient is pre‐assessed and any appropriate investigations are undertaken to ensure they are physically able to undergo the surgery and be mentally prepared for the process. The care continues in the immediate pre‐operative phase to ensure the patient is prepared adequately for the surgical procedure and to mitigate associated risks. Intraoperative care usually comprises three phases: induction of anaesthesia, surgery and recovery of the patient within the post‐anaesthetic care unit (PACU). As care within surgery is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, a thorough handover of the patient is essential at every stage. The care continues beyond the intraoperative phase when the patient receives post‐operative care both before and after discharge from hospital. The amount and complexity of post‐operative care required will vary significantly according to the nature of the surgery (minor, major, laparoscopic, robotic, etc.) and the physical, mental and social status of the patient.
This chapter relates to the care provided to the patient in all three stages of surgery:
- pre‐operative care
- intraoperative care
- post‐operative care.