Who are the anesthesiologists?
The Operating Room, Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and Intensive Care Units at the hospital are staffed by Board Certified and Board Eligible physician anesthesiologists. Each member of the service is an individual practitioner with privileges to practice at this hospital.
What types of anesthesia are available?
Decisions regarding your anesthesia are tailored to your personal needs. The types available for you are:
- General Anesthesia provides loss of consciousness.
- Regional Anesthesia involves the injection of a local anesthetic to provide numbness, loss of pain, or loss of sensation to a large region of the body. Regional anesthetic techniques include spinal blocks, epidural blocks, and arm and leg blocks. Medications are also given to make you drowsy and blur your memory.
Will I have any side effects?
Your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the different anesthetic options as well as any complications or side effects that can occur with each type of anesthetic. Nausea or vomiting may be related to anesthesia or the type of surgical procedure. Although less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques, these side effects continue to occur for some patients. Medications to treat nausea and vomiting will be given if needed. The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on several factors, especially the type of surgery. Your doctors and nurses will do everything possible to relieve pain and keep you safe. Your discomfort should be minimal, but do not expect to be totally pain-free. The staff will teach you the pain scale to better assess your pain level.
What will happen before my surgery?
You will meet your anesthesiologist immediately before your surgery. Your anesthesiologist will review all information needed to evaluate your general health. This will include your medical history, laboratory test results, allergies, and current medications. With this information, the anesthesiologist will determine the type of anesthesia best suited for you. He or she will also answer any further questions you may have.
You will also meet your surgical nurses. Intravenous (IV) fluids will be started and preoperative medications will be given. Once in the operating room, monitoring devices will be attached such as a blood pressure cuff, EKG, and other devices for your safety. At this point, you will be ready for anesthesia. If you would like to speak to your anesthesiologist before you are admitted to the hospital, this can be arranged through Surgical Pre-Testing. (Refer to Section 6)
During surgery, what does my anesthesiologist do?
Your anesthesiologist is responsible for your comfort and well-being before, during, and immediately after your surgical procedure. In the operating room, the anesthesiologist will manage vital functions, including heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for fluid and blood replacement when necessary.
What can I expect after the operation?
After surgery, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where specially trained nurses will watch you closely. During this period, you may be given extra oxygen and your breathing and heart functions will be observed closely.
May I choose an anesthesiologist?
Although most patients are assigned an anesthesiologist, you may choose one based on personal preference or insurance considerations. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or medical plan participation by the anesthesiologist, please contact your insurance company for guidance.
Requests for specific anesthesiologists should be submitted in advance through your surgeon's office for coordination with the anesthesiologists’ availability.