When the patient enters the operating room, the skin surface to be operated on, called the operating field, is cleaned and prepared by applying an antiseptic such as chlorhexidine gluconate or povidone-iodine to reduce the possibility of infection.If hair is present at the surgical site, it is clipped off prior to prep application.With local and spinal anesthesia, the surgical site is anesthetized, but the patient can remain conscious or minimally sedated.
The patient is assisted by an anesthesiologist or resident to make a specific surgical position, then sterile drapes are used to cover the surgical site or at least a wide area surrounding the operating field; the drapes are clipped to a pair of poles near the head of the bed to form an "ether screen", which separates the anesthetist/anesthesiologist's working area (unsterile) from the surgical site (sterile).
Anesthesia is administered to prevent pain from an incision, tissue manipulation and suturing.
Among United States hospitalizations for nonmaternal and nonneonatal conditions in 2012, more than one-fourth of stays and half of hospital costs involved stays that included operating room (OR) procedures.
The environment and procedures used in surgery are governed by the principles of aseptic technique: the strict separation of "sterile" (free of microorganisms) things from "unsterile" or "contaminated" things.
Surgery is a technology consisting of a physical intervention on tissues.
As a general rule, a procedure is considered surgical when it involves cutting of a patient's tissues or closure of a previously sustained wound.
In fact, medical specialty professional organizations recommend against routine pre-operative chest x-rays for patients who have an unremarkable medical history and presented with a physical exam which did not indicate a chest x-ray.
Likewise, other tests including complete blood count, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, basic metabolic panel, and urinalysis should not be done unless the results of these tests can help evaluate surgical risk.
In this context, the verb "operate" means to perform surgery.