Patients: What To Expect
BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
You will meet your anesthesia specialist prior to your surgery or procedure. We understand this is a stressful time for our patients and their families. Often that stress comes from the fear of the unknown. Anesthesia is an “unknown” for patients. It is important to us that you receive ample time to discuss your concerns, plan of care, and expectations with your physician anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist. During this time, you will be asked questions about your medical history including prior surgeries, your social history of smoking or alcohol usage, and your family history. All of this information enables us to formulate the safest type of anesthesia for you.
General anesthesia produces unconsciousness and loss of sensation throughout the entire body. This type of anesthesia may require the use of a breathing device to assist your ventilation during the procedure. The device is typically placed after you are fully asleep and removed prior to you remembering. You will regain consciousness in the recovery room after your procedure is complete.
Regional anesthesia involves an injection of numbing anesthetic near a group of nerves resulting in numbing the area, or region, of the body requiring surgery. There are many different types of regional anesthesia, but the most commonly known are used for childbirth: spinal anesthesia or epidural anesthesia. With other types, our providers are experts in the usage of ultrasound technology to identify not just the targeted nerve(s), but also to avoid other important structures such as arteries and veins. Regional anesthesia is often used to assist with controlling post operative pain as well. For the procedure, you may or may not be given a sedative, but will not feel the surgery.
Local anesthesia involves an injection of numbing anesthetic to a very specific area of the body such as a foot or hand. Most patients are familiar with local anesthesia from their dentist where just one tooth is numbed. This type of anesthesia is typically for minor surgeries. You may or may not be given a sedative in addition.
No matter the type of anesthesia, your anesthesiologist or anesthetist will be with you continuously monitoring and controlling your vital functions: blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, level of anesthetic, fluid, and sometimes blood administration. It is our personal responsibility to ensure you are safe every heart beat, every breath.
After your procedure is over, your anesthesiologist or anesthetist will transport you to the recovery room and transition your care to a specially trained nurse. We will continue to oversee your safety and comfort during this phase of your visit.