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  5. Preparing for surgery – the operating theatre and atmosphere
  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Principles of Surgery (EU22)
  4. Preparing for surgery – the operating theatre and atmosphere

Preparing for surgery – the operating theatre and atmosphere

Surgical facilities vary, from purpose-designed suites of rooms to modified laboratories, to a bench in a general-purpose laboratory. The latter is only suitable for non-recovery surgery. Ideally, surgical procedures should be carried out in a separate room set aside for the purpose and isolated from human traffic. The surfaces should be dust-free and wiped with disinfectant. The components of an aseptic surgery area should include areas for surgical support, animal preparation, preparation of the surgical team, operating and post-operative recovery. Physical barriers best achieve separation of functional areas, although it may be feasible to separate them by appropriately timing the procedures and cleansing and disinfecting the area in between these activities. It is important for the rooms to have the following facilities and features:


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  • Efficient ventilation, which is a positive pressure with respect to surrounding areas. Capability to increase ambient room temperature.
  • Surgical lighting that is a “cold” light source and preferably can be focused from two directions.
  • Adjustable height surgical table or a static table of a suitable height, that is easy to clean.
  • Facility for patient warming during surgery e.g. heat blanket.
  • Patient preparation area with anaesthesia facilities and supplies, sink, clippers, vacuum cleaner and secure drug storage cabinet.
  • Sufficient work surfaces and storage areas outside the operating room, it is important that minimal equipment and storage space is located in the operating room to facilitate cleaning and disinfection following procedures.
  • Post-op recovery area, which should allow close patient monitoring preferably without physically disturbing them, with the capability to increase ambient temperature or provide supplemental heating for animals in recovery cages/pens.

Next Article : Preparing for surgery – equipment

Updated on 12th May 2020

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