The Perioperative Phase of Surgery

The Care Provided in Different Phases of Surgery

Instruments Used Perioperative
Surgical Instruments. Photo: © Harrison Eastwood/Getty Images

Definition: The perioperative phase of surgery is the time period that includes the three major phases of surgery: the preoperative phase, the operative phase, and the postoperative phase. 

Perioperative Phase of Surgery

Surgery is broken down into three phases to differentiate between the tasks that are performed to make the best possible outcome possible. Each phase requires specialized care, and when done properly, optimizes the patient's health prior to surgery, decreases the risks of surgery and makes it possible to achieve the best possible recovery and long-term health.

The initial phase, the preoperative phase, lasts from the decision to have surgery until the beginning of surgery. This phase can be extremely brief in the case of a life-threatening emergency that can be remedied by surgery. For other patients, this phase can last for months while testing, scheduling, education and screening (especially for surgeries with an emotional component, such as bariatric surgery or transplant procedures).

The second phase is the surgery itself, the actual procedure during which anesthesia is provided and the surgeon does their work. This phase begins with the arrival of the patient in the operating room and ends when the patient is moved to the recovery room, which may be the PACU, ICU or a hospital room.  

The final phase, the postoperative period, is the time after surgery until recovery is complete and the patient has returned to their best health.  This period can be brief, lasting a few hours or days, or with major surgeries can last for months and may include rehabilitation therapy to return to best possible function.

Also Known As: periop, perioperatively, peri op,

Alternate Spellings: peri operative,

Common Misspellings: perryoperative, perryop, peryoperative, peryop, peryoperatively,

Examples: The doctor explained that the perioperative period would last approximately eight weeks if the recovery went as expected.

Continue Reading