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Anesthesia care involves several highly qualified care professionals. Anesthesiologists (physicians trained in the medical practice of anesthesia) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) apply this knowledge of medicine to ensure your comfort during surgery. A member of the anesthesia team will be with you throughout your procedure.

A pre-op assessment will be obtained prior to surgery by a registered nurse (RN), CRNA or anesthesiologist. Based on your medical history, lab tests may be ordered along with other tests. Prior to your procedure, an anesthesia care provider will discuss the most appropriate anesthesia plan for you according to type of surgery and medical history.

Before anesthesia, you will need to remember several things:

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before unless you are told otherwise.
Do not swallow water when brushing your teeth the morning of surgery.
Try to stop smoking for 24 hours before surgery.
Leave all valuables at home.
Do not wear any jewelry (including tongue rings or studs), nail polish, glasses or contact lenses to the operating room. False teeth such as a bridge, partial plate and dentures will also need to be removed.

What should I do about medicines I am taking?

If you are coming in the day of surgery, you will be told if you should take your usual daily medications the morning of surgery. These medications should only be taken with a sip of water. If you are taking insulin, do not take it the morning of surgery, but bring it with you. Once your blood sugar is checked, we will adjust your insulin for that day accordingly.

What types of anesthesia are used?

Several types of anesthesia techniques are available. The types used will depend on several factors and will be discussed with you by your anesthesia personnel.

General anesthesia - Anesthetic medications are given through an IV line or anesthesia mask. This type produces unconsciousness so that you will not see, feel or hear anything during the surgical procedure.
Regional anesthesia - This type produces numbness with the injection of local anesthesia around nerves in a region of the body corresponding to the surgical procedure. You will be given IV medications to make you drowsy and comfortable before the regional anesthesia is administered.
Monitored anesthesia care - Pain medication and sedatives are given through your IV. Local anesthesia may be injected into the skin to provide pain control during and after the procedure.

After surgery:

You will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, often called the recovery room. During this period, you will be given extra oxygen, and your breathing and heart functions will be observed. You will then be returned to your room either in the hospital or the short stay area.

Going home:

If you are going home the same day of surgery, you will be given a written set of instructions to follow. Go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Your body needs time to recover from the stress of surgery. Follow specific instructions provided by the surgeon regarding diet, exercising and resuming regular prescriptions.

Following anesthesia, your memory and judgment can be affected up to 48 hours after surgery. For at least 24 hours after anesthesia:

Do not drive a motor vehicle.
Do not use power tools or machinery.
Do not drink alcohol.
Do not make important decisions or sign important papers.

During the first 24 hours after anesthesia you may experience:

Nausea and vomiting
Muscle aches and pains not related to surgery
Sore throat (Warm salt water gargles or Chloraseptic® spray will help.)

Anesthesia for children

Anesthesia for children is also given by an IV, so the child becomes unconscious rapidly. Another way is to let your child breathe anesthetic agents until relaxed. This is done by asking the child to breathe through a "face mask." Especially with children, honesty is key. The child should be told that he or she will be in unfamiliar surroundings but will meet friendly nurses and doctors. Children also need to be aware there may be some discomfort afterwards. Let your child know that you will not be with them every minute but will be waiting nearby. 

For more information

Following instructions is important to allow the safest and most pleasant recovery possible. If you have any questions, please call (662) 377-4394.