THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
On the day of your procedure, you and your Anesthesiologist will choose the option(s) that best suit your needs.
Is a treatment that renders you both unconscious and unable to feel pain during your medical procedure. This is generally done with inhaled gases and intravenous medications. The combination of the inhaled gases and intravenous medications produces:
Analgesia: loss of response to pain
Amnesia: temporary loss of memory about what is currently going on
Relaxation of muscles
SPINAL & EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA
These techniques utilize local Anesthetics and sometimes narcotic medications to temporarily block the nerves coming from the spinal cord.
Is the use of local Anesthetics near major nerves in your body. These techniques are used to numb the surgical site and for post-operative pain control.
(IV sedation) can be used in combination with regional Anesthesia or a local nerve block given at the operative site by your surgeon.
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE SURGERY
A few days before your procedure:
An Anesthesiologist will review your medical history to help determine the type of Anesthesia you need.
You may be asked to stop taking medications that thin your blood, including aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin (Coumadin), ginseng, garlic, and fish oil.
You will be instructed regarding the medications you should take on the day of your surgery, with small sips of water.
Make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your procedure. Have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
An Anesthesiologist or Anesthetic team consisting of an Anesthesiologist and a CRNA will go over with you in detail:
▪ Your medical history
▪ Previous surgeries and past Anesthetic experiences
▪ Your prescription medications, supplements, and vitamins
▪ Results of labs and special studies
▪ Physical examination specifically listening to your heart and lungs
Be sure to tell your Anesthesiologist:
▪ If you’re pregnant or could be pregnant
▪ If you’ve had any recent changes in your medical condition or medical history
▪ If you’ve had a recent cold or illness
This discussion will help your Anesthesiologists choose the appropriate medications that are safe for you for your surgery.
DURING YOUR PROCEDURE
Before your Anesthetic begins, an intravenous (IV) infusion will be started and multiple monitors will be placed, including heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, and respirations.
A member of your Anesthesia team will monitor you continuously during your procedure. Throughout your procedure, he or she will adjust Anesthetic drugs, your breathing, temperature, intravenous fluids, and blood pressure.
When the surgery is complete, the Anesthesiologist will discontinue the anesthetic medications, and you will gradually awaken in the operating room. You will then be transferred to the recovery room, where you will be closely monitored while you awaken.
PAIN CONTROL AFTERWARD
During your surgery, your Anesthesiologist treated you with intravenous pain medications, and/or local anesthetics that numbed your nerves. When you wake up afterward, you will still experience the pain-relieving effects of these drugs. As they gradually wear off over the next few hours, your pain will be managed by your Anesthesiologist or nurse, who can give you intravenous pain medications. Before you go home, your surgeon will provide a prescription for oral pain medication to help you stay comfortable.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANESTHESIA?
From the American Society of Anesthesiologists:
Anesthetics may be followed by side effects. They are not common, are rarely life threatening, and usually last only a short time. Even though we try very hard to minimize these side effects, they may occur in spite of our efforts. These side effects include but are not limited to:
1) Dry and/or sore mouth or throat: normal secretions are reduced and a tube may have been inserted to help you breathe and to protect your airway.
2) Nausea and/or vomiting: can be related to many factors in addition to the anesthetic, and is more common following certain types of surgery.
3) Sore jaw: if jaw support was necessary during the anesthetic.
4) Short memory lapse: may occur during the recovery period as drug effects wear off.
5) Headache: may occur after general or spinal anesthesia. These are usually brief in duration and can be effectively treated.
6) Phlebitis: irritation of a vein by intravenous fluids or medications.
7) Eye irritation: due to decreased tear formation and reduced protective fluid reflexes.
8) Damage to teeth: capped, loose, or false teeth or teeth in poor condition may be damaged during the anesthetic. Rarely, even normal teeth may be affected during safety or protective procedures related to the anesthetic. Although we make every effort to protect your teeth, such damage is a recognized and accepted hazard of anesthesia. We cannot accept responsibility for injury to teeth, dental caps, crowns, or bridges. If you have teeth in poor condition, it is your responsibility to see your dentist and optimize your dental health before your surgery.
Major complications following anesthesia are fortunately quite rare but may occur. These include such problems as stroke, coma, heart attack, kidney or liver failure, paralysis, organ damage, brain or nerve damage, aspiration of stomach contents, or even death.
Pamphlets for Childbirth and Anesthesia, Outpatient Surgery and Anesthesia, Children and Anesthesia, Seniors and Anesthesia.
Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).