how long will my surgery take?

How To Answer Common Patient Questions

J.H., RN
12 years Experience

“I like to try and give my patients and their families an estimate but always remind them that longer doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. The surgeon will give their loved one the attention that is needed, and if it takes a little longer than anticipated, it means that they are devoting the time needed. The team will do whatever is best for the patient and will not rush.”

M.N., rN
8 years experience

“If the patient or their family and visitors are really concerned about the length of surgery, I will first direct the question to the surgeon and give them an opportunity to ask any questions they may still have.  Then I try to reassure them that we will keep them updated and do my best to get a message to them every 45-60 minutes. Communication is the key to helping family and friends not become overly anxious about their loved one.”

A.L., RN
16 years experience

“Be honest with the patient and their visitors. We don’t want to make guesses or simply try to appease them. Sometimes it’s okay to say that we won’t know until we begin surgery and are able to know exactly what the surgeon is dealing with. Everyone wants an answer and a time frame but sometimes we truly don’t know. Honesty and continued updates go a long way.”