No matter how excited you are to get your eggs out (#retrievalday), the OR is no one’s idea of a good time. It’s cold, it’s sterile, and everyone is wearing a mask. To make matters worse, your backside is usually baring itself to a roomful of strangers (gotta love those hospital gowns)! And although you won’t remember a whole lot about what happens on that day (thank you, anesthesiologist!), here are the four things you can pretty much count on as you count yourself to sleep!
- Identification: We want to make sure you are who we think you are— repeatedly. When it comes to anything medical, particularly egg- or sperm-related, we’re super strict about identification. Plan on us asking you your name, your date of birth, your partner’s name, and their date of birth MANY, MANY times. This is one place that less is not more. Before you have any of the good stuff flowing through your veins, you want to make sure that you’ve been identified by the operating room team, the physician, and the embryologist. No shortcuts here! You want everyone to know who you are, why you’re there, and what you want done with your eggs.
- Recognition: You’ll see lots of familiar faces: The staff in the Operating Room generally includes a nurse, a surgical technician, an anesthesiologist, and a doctor (likely your doctor!). Given the amount of time you’ve spent getting your blood drawn and your ovaries checked, you’re probably on a first-name basis with almost everyone in the clinic. But if you’re not and these faces are somewhat foreign, they should introduce themselves. You should feel comfortable (although a bit cold) with the people around you!
- Reposition: While you’ll enjoy some Zzzs (again, thanks to your friend the anesthesiologist), we’ll ask you to do some exercise beforehand. And while we’re not talking about Soul Cycle, we do need to position your body so your bottom is aligned with the operating room table. Where you’re positioned on the operating room table will ensure that we can safely extract your eggs and that you can walk out of the office without any aches and pains.
- Relaxation: After the formalities have been exchanged (identification, recognition, and reposition) it’s time to go off to your “happy place” of choice. And whether you’re a beach or mountain girl, get ready to be there for the entire 15 minutes it takes your doctor to retrieve your eggs!
MDs love the operating room. It’s part of why we do what we do. But we get that, to most folks, it’s a scary place. And while we’re not likely to convert you into a surgery fan, we can help alleviate some of your anxiety surrounding the procedure by sharing some of our tips. So, take a deep breath, and know that most likely your doctor has done this MANY, MANY times. He or she has this covered. And don’t worry; whatever secrets you share are safe with us. What happens in the operating room stays in the operating room!