Anesthesia & You

Anesthesia & You

The Day of Surgery

The Anesthesia Team Approach

To give you the best care possible, we employ the concept of the "Anesthesia Care Team." Your Anesthesia Team will consist of an Anesthesiologist and a Nurse Anesthetist. The Anesthesiologist is a medical doctor specially trained in peri-operative care. The Nurse Anesthetist is a specially trained Registered Nurse. They will work together to provide an anesthetic to suit your needs. The Department of Anesthesiology may use the services of other practitioners, including students under the direct supervision of the Anesthesia Care Team as they deem advisable.

The Anesthesia Interview

On the day of your surgery you will meet your anesthesia team. Typically you will meet the Anesthesiologist first. He/She will review your medical record and will meet with you to discuss your particular medical conditions to determine the impact they may have on your care. He/She will ask questions about the medications that you take. It is always a good idea to have a list of these medications with you. He/She will ask you about any reactions that you may have had in the past to anesthesia. The Anesthesiologist will perform a brief physical examination to make sure that there is no problem that may make your surgery/anesthesia unsafe.

Once the Anesthesiologist has determined that your medical condition is satisfactory, he/she will discuss the type of anesthesia chosen that best suits your particular situation. The Anesthesiologist may offer alternative anesthetic techniques if appropriate. He/She will describe for you the particular advantages and disadvantages of each type of anesthesia and will make sure you understand what is going to happen. If necessary, he/she will also discuss the reasons for the use of any special monitors that may be needed to ensure your safety during surgery.

By now, you will probably have met with your Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). He/She may ask you the exact same questions asked by the Anesthesiologist. This second interview may reveal information that you may have forgotten to tell the Anesthesiologist that may have an impact on your care.

Your IV (intra-venous catheter) will be placed either by the Anesthesiologist or the CRNA and will be used to administer medications and fluids in the operating room.

Preoperative Sedation

Because most people are nervous about their impending surgery and anesthesia, the Anesthesiologist may give you some medication to relax you before going into the operating room. This medication may or may not make you sleepy. If you are going to have any special monitors placed, the Anesthesiologist may decide to give you additional sedation to make the placement of these monitors easier. Again, the type and amount of sedation that you get will be tailored your needs and medical condition.

In our same day surgery centers, you are unlikely to receive medication for relaxation as these medicines may linger and cause excessive sedation after surgery. Instead, a friend or family member may be permitted to sit with you in the patient waiting area if you desire.

Back to Anesthesia And You Preparing for Surgery  |  The Operation