Going To Our Plastic Surgery Operating Room


Going to the operating room is not a normal experience for most of us. Dr.Vu and all of the professional staff caring for you recognize the natural anxiety with which most patients approach this step in the process of achieving their goals. We believe a description of the surgery experience will be helpful. Your surgery will be performed at The Sunset Surgical Center  or at any one of our affiliated hospitals. Specialists using modern equipment and techniques will attend to you. The team includes a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (C.R.N.A.), a trained Operating Room Technician and a Registered Nurse in charge of the operating room.

When you arrive at Sunset Surgical Center, you will be escorted to the Pre-Operative Suite.   You will be asked to change into a gown and robe and will be given foot covers. Dr. Vu and the C.R.N.A. will meet with you before you enter the operating suite. This is the time for final surgical planning; it is also when we will do basic preparation or draw on your skin as needed. There will be time for last minute questions.

Once you enter the operating room, the staff will do everything they can to make you feel secure. You will feel comfortable on our deeply padded operating table, and the nurse or the C.R.N.A.  will start an intravenous drip in your arm. At the same time, to ensure your safety, our staff will connect you to monitoring devices. Medicines that will make you drowsy will flow through the tubing into a vein in your arm. At the same time, to ensure your safety, the C.R.N.A. will connect you to monitoring devices.

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When your surgery has been completed and your dressings are in place, you will be moved to the recovery room. You will be connected to monitoring equipment constantly. During this period, a fully trained Recovery Room Nurse will take care of you and remain with you at all times. The Registered Nurses in the recovery room are specially certified for advanced cardiac life support . The recovery room is equipped just like one in a hospital.  Your stay in the recovery room will last from 1 to 4 hours, depending on how soon you are ready to leave. Most patients are fully awake within 30-60 minutes after surgery but may not remember much about their stay in the recovery room.


You must arrange for someone to bring you to and drive you home from the surgery center. Either a family member, a friend, or a nurse must remain with you the first night after surgery because you will have been sedated.


Activities: We want you to avoid straining or any aerobic activity for at least 3 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid bleeding, bruising, and swelling. Do not resume strenuous exercise for 4 to 6 weeks. Dr. Vu will give you clearance to increase your activities according to the progress of your recovery.

Driving: You may resume driving when you feel you are able, but wait at least 2 days after surgery. Keep in mind that you must have full use of your reflexes. If pain will inhibit them, don’t drive!

Sexual Activity: You may enjoy sexual activity as your body allows with the following restriction: please reread Activity/Sports above and apply the same concept to sex.

Sun Exposure: If fresh scars are exposed to the sun, they will tend to become darker and take longer to fade. Sunscreen can help. Take extra care and precautions if the area operated on is slightly numb — you might not “feel” a sunburn developing!

Work: returning to work will vary from each individual patient’s recovery and the type of surgery performed. This will be discussed and modified with Dr. Vu.


Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): A CRNA is an RN who has completed an additional two years of specialized training in anesthesiology. Their certification is also overseen by each state’s Board of Nursing. In contrast to an RN, a CRNA is able to administer general anesthesia.

YOUR SURGEON: In some centers your surgeon may actually be the person administering the medications to make you drowsy during your surgery. Almost never does he or she personally monitor your vital signs. This is usually done by a member of his or her staff, most often a nurse.

REGISTERED NURSE: Each state has its own Board of Nursing, but there is a great deal of common requirements between states. He or she is licensed to administer intravenous drugs at the direction of the surgeon and monitor your vital signs. These nurses have worked full time for a minimum of two years in the field of plastic surgery before they are eligible to take a national certifying exam.