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The perioperative period, less commonly spelled the peroperative period, is the time period describing the duration of a patient's surgical procedure; this commonly includes ward admission, anesthesia, surgery, and recovery. Perioperative generally refers to the three phases of surgery: preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative. The goal of perioperative care is to provide better conditions for patients before operation, during operation, and after operation.
Peri-op care is the care that is given before, during and after surgery. It takes place in hospitals, in surgical centers attached to hospitals, in freestanding surgical centers or health care providers' offices. This period is used to prepare the patient both physically and psychologically for the surgical procedure and after surgery. For emergent surgeries this period can be short and even oblivious to the patient; for elective surgeries "preops" can be quite lengthy. Information obtained during preoperative assessment is used as a basis for the care plan for the patient.
The intra-operative period begins when the patient is transferred to the operating room bed and ends with the transfer of a patient to the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). During this period the patient is monitored, anesthetized, prepped, and draped, and the operation is performed. Nursing activities during this period focus on safety, infection prevention, and physiological response to anesthesia. Radiation therapy and blood salvage may also be performed during this time.
The postoperative period begins after the transfer to the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) and terminates with the resolution of the surgical sequelae. It is quite common for this period to end outside of the care of the surgical team. It is uncommon to provide extended care past the discharge of the patient from the PACU.
- Spry, Cynthia. Essentials of Perioperative Nursing. 3rd ed. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. 2005.