Surgery can be a scary experience. Most of us have been patients ourselves at one point or another. Rest assured that you are in great hands. Our board-certified physicians, nurse anesthetists, and anesthesia assistants will give you the best anesthesia care possible to help your surgery go well.
Whether you are having heart surgery, having your knee replaced, or welcoming a new child into the world, our physicians are experts in their field. They will ease your fears and your pain.
To help you prepare for your operation, we have included information below about the different types of anesthesia and the members of our anesthesia care team. In addition, you can visit the following pages of our website for more information:
- Preparing for Surgery
- During the Surgery
- Postoperative Care
- Obstetric Care
- Billing & Payments
- Patient Testimonials
- Patient Education
Types of Anesthesia
We will give sedative medicine through an IV to make you feel drowsy and sleepy. You will be relaxed and likely stay awake for the entire procedure. However, you may only remember bits and pieces of being in the operating room. This type of anesthesia is commonly used for eye surgery, dental surgery, or minor procedures like a biopsy.
You will receive medication through an IV or through inhaled gases from a mask. The medication will allow you to enter a sleep-like state. Usually, a breathing tube or other device will be inserted after you are asleep to assist with breathing during surgery.
You will breathe anesthetic gas through this tube to keep you asleep during your procedure. You will not feel or remember your surgery. This is the most common type of anesthesia given and is used for a wide range of medical procedures.
Regional anesthesia involves numbing only the part of your body being operated on to prevent or greatly reduce pain during and after surgery. There is good evidence to suggest that regional anesthesia reduces the amount of anesthetic and narcotic medicines you need and promotes recovery after certain types of surgery.
We can numb many different areas of the body, and the use of ultrasound allows us to see the nerves and compartments in the body where the numbing medication is injected. We will either inject a single shot of medicine or thread a small catheter into a blood vessel so numbing medicine can be provided continually.
You will be given sedation before your nerve block so it should not bother you much. Most people say that getting the IV hurt more than the nerve block. Many people do not remember the block at all because of the medication they have received.
Most people have heard of epidurals for women in labor, but we also place them to help control pain after surgery. Epidurals have been shown to help with recovery and limit the number of narcotic medicines you will need after certain types of surgery. Most commonly, we place epidurals for people having chest surgery (thoracotomy) or abdominal surgery (colon resection).
First, you will receive sedation and then sit up. Your anesthesiologist will then clean your back with sterile soap and inject local anesthesia to numb the skin. They will then thread a small catheter (the size of fishing line) into the epidural space.
A pump will hang on your IV pole and administer numbing medicine continually. The epidural may not take away all pain afterward, but it should greatly reduce any post-op pain.
You will still likely get general anesthesia for the surgery itself as the epidural is for postoperative pain. An anesthesiologist will check on you and is available 24 hours a day to help manage your pain. The epidural tube can stay in for up to one week – but is usually removed after a few days, depending on how you are doing.
A spinal anesthetic numbs the body from the chest or waist down and lasts for 3-5 hours. Your anesthesiologist will have you in a seated position and clean your back with sterile solution. They will then use a small needle to inject numbing medicine in the spinal space. Depending on the anesthesia plan, you will likely be given some sedation before the spinal anesthetic and during the surgery to relax.