Having anesthesia can be overwhelming. You will speak to your anesthesia team on the day of surgery, but we can answer a few questions now about the types of anesthesia we provide and what will happen while you’re under our care.
Who is the anesthesia team?
A qualified physician anesthesiologist and a certified nurse anesthetist.
What are the types of anesthesia?
- General anesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious with no sensation during surgery. Administered intravenously or through a mask, general anesthesia is usually sustained with oxygen, anesthetic gases and supplemental intravenous medications. After surgery, the patient gradually awakens in the recovery room.
- Regional anesthesia anesthesia involves “blocking” or “numbing” the nerves to the area of the body where the surgeon is operating and providing sedation intravenously to reduce your awareness of the procedure. Examples include epidural, spinal, peripheral nerve blocks, and numbing medicine given by your anesthesiologist or surgeon.
- Sedation is used for less extensive operations and minor procedures. It can also be used to relieve pain or alleviate some of the anxiety that can accompany diagnostic tests or treatments. How awake you are during sedation, which is also called MAC (monitored anesthesia care), depends on you and the procedure you’re having.
How will you make sure I’m safe during anesthesia?
When we provide anesthesia, your safety and comfort is our primary focus. While you are under anesthesia, a provider is with you 100% of the time and will be watching your vital signs including blood pressure, pulse, breathing and oxygen levels, and monitoring your heart with an EKG. In addition, we use a wide variety of state-of-the-art monitoring equipment specific for certain patients and surgeries. Your anesthesia team will determine what equipment is most appropriate for you. We also operate as a team of providers and while you will have a team assigned to your case, additional teammates are always available and able to help when the need arises.
When will I meet my anesthesia team?
Our Preoperative team will evaluate your records and contact you if we need additional information. You may be asked to come to our preoperative clinic where you will meet the preoperative team. You will meet your anesthesiologist and certified nurse anesthetist in the preoperative area before your surgery. He or she will have questions for you about your medical history and will perform an evaluation then discuss with you the plan for your anesthesia and answer any questions you may have.
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