The Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Department of Anesthesiology
The Department of Anesthesiology

Post-Anesthesia Care

Compassionate Care While You Sleep


The postoperative visit is an important aspect of anesthetic care and should be viewed as an extension of the anesthetic. It is a means by which one can reestablish rapport with the patient and determine whether the patient has developed complications related to anesthesia, the operation or combinations of both. It also provides and opportunity to carry out studies of quality assurance in the area of outcome, morbidity and mortality. Not only is it good medicine and good from the medical-legal standpoint but it is mandated by JCAHO.

The routine responsibilities of the PACU residents & attendings include:

  • Evaluation and assessment of patients as they are returned to the PACU from the operating room (OR), or any other outside location, after general anesthesia or local anesthesia, with or without Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) and who are unable to safely ambulate by themselves.
  • Evaluation of patients prior to discharge and for completing the discharge summary if all discharge criteria are met.
  • Supervision of the nursing staff, ensuring that all patients receive adequate analgesia and antiemetics as well as other basic care, like adequate oxygenation, breathing, circulation and establishment of normothermia.
  • Evaluation and coordination of patient care during any unexpected and/or adverse event. The resident will initiate any required emergency treatment and at the same time call for help.

For more information, contact Kenneth Hiller, M.D.