Returning to PICU after surgery
You don't always go straight back to the ward after an operation; sometimes you go to the intensive care unit (known as PICU) for a short time. This often happens when you've had a really big operation, such as heart surgery.
You'll go to PICU if you need to be closely monitored for a while. The unit has the specialist equipment to do that, whereas the ward hasn't.
PICU also has the equipment to support your breathing if you need a bit of help while you wake up from your special sleep. Again, the ward doesn't have this.
The PICU nurses will stay with you the whole time and will be constantly checking the monitors and other equipment to make sure you're doing okay.
Once you've woken up from your special sleep, the nurses will ask you if you're hurting anywhere. If you are, they will give you medicine to make the pain go away.
Your mum or dad, or other grown-up, can be there and can stay with you for the whole time you're in PICU, even during the night as there are reclining chairs they can sleep in.
Before you come in for your operation, the doctors will tell you whether you're likely to go to PICU straight afterwards, rather than going to the ward. If so, you can arrange to have a look round PICU so you know and your parents know what to expect.