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Anesthesia

 

Anesthesia services for Drs. Phillips and Berlin will be provided by Pinnacle Anesthesia Consultants. All other procedures will be provided by US Anesthesia Partners.

You will be taken care of by a board certified anesthesiologist , a nurse anesthetist, or a combined care team.

 

Pain relief

In addition to pain medications, we offer several nerve blocks for some types of surgery.  Most blocks can be performed in the preoperative area under mild sedation and are tolerated very well. Your anesthesia team will discuss a nerve block if one is available for your type of surgery.  A nerve block or blocks are available for surgery on your shoulder, arms, hands, legs, knees, ankles.  Eligible types of surgery include broken bones, shoulder surgery, tears in tendons.  An injection placed under ultrasound guidance can mostly reduce or completely eliminate the pain of surgery for 8 to 24 hours.  Many times, no additional pain medicine is needed in the recovery room.  Nausea and vomiting risk is also reduced or eliminated.  Some surgeries require that we perform a block in order to be able to do the surgery in a same day surgery center (without you having to spend a night in the hospital due to pain).

We can also numb the abdomen for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, umbilical hernia surgery, inguinal hernia repair, and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). These blocks are recommended but are not required.  For self pay patients, these blocks are an additional cost.

Preoperative Interview
Your anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will interview you prior to the procedure. This usually takes place on the day of surgery, but for special reasons some interviews will be initiated before the day of surgery. The anesthesiologist will ask questions about your medical history and review any laboratory tests that have been done. You and your anesthesiologist together will then formulate an anesthetic plan. You will discuss anesthetic choices including risks and benefits. The anesthetic plan will be tailored specifically for you by taking into account your general medical condition, the type of surgical procedure and your preferences. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have with your anesthesiologist.

In the Operating Room
In the operating room, your anesthesiologist is uniquely qualified and personally responsible for directing your anesthetic. Anesthesiologists are medical specialists who ensure your comfort and make informed medical decisions to protect you. Your physical status is closely monitored. Vital functions such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and breathing are managed. A member of the anesthesia care team will be with you throughout your procedure.

Recovery After Surgery
You will be taken to the post-anesthetic care unit, often called the recovery room. Your anesthesiologist will direct the monitoring and medications to ensure your safe recovery. Your vital functions will be closely monitored by specially trained nurses. Medications to minimize postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting are given as needed. Nausea and vomiting tend to be less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques although it still occurs quite often. When you are ready, you will be offered something to drink. A family member or friend may be allowed to be with you, and you will be assisted in getting up. Most patients are ready to go home between 1-2 hours after surgery. Oral and written instructions will be given. You will also be given a telephone number to call if you have any concerns when you get home. In general, for the first 24 hours after your anesthesia:

  • Do not drink alcohol or use nonprescription medication
  • Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery
  • Do not make important decisions
  • You may not be left alone that first day

Be prepared to go home and continue your recovery there. Patients may experience drowsiness or minor side effects such as muscle aches, sore throat, headaches and mild nausea. These usually decline rapidly in the hours following surgery. Most patients do not feel up to their usual activities the next day. Plan to take it easy for a few days. The following day you will be contacted to see how you feel and if there are any problems.

 

PREOPERATIVE REMINDERS

Preoperative fasting
Each patient should be given his or her own instructions. Please note that if you eat or drink when you were not supposed to, you could markedly increase the risks of anesthesia. Please follow your instructions very carefully. See sections on Anesthesia Frequently Asked Questions and preparing for Surgery.

Preoperative medications
Some medications should be taken and others should not. It is important to discuss this with your physicians. Please bring all your medications with you on the day of surgery.

Travel arrangements
You must make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your surgery. You will not be able to drive yourself home. You may not be alone the first 24 hours.

Many patients are apprehensive about anesthesia and surgery. If you are well informed, you will be better prepared and more relaxed. Talk with your anesthesiologist and ask questions. Your anesthesiologist is your advocate and is experienced in making your surgery and recovery as safe and comfortable as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

F.A.Q.'s Anesthesia

 

 

 

 

May I request what type of anesthesia I will receive?

Yes, in certain situations. Some operations can be performed using a choice of different anesthetic types. Your anesthesiologist will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history. Your preference will be discussed so that the most appropriate anesthetic plan is made.

 

Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?

You and your anesthesiologist will develop an anesthetic care plan.  You will usually receive a mild sedative in the preoperative area before going into the operating room on the stretcher.

 

What are the risks of anesthesia?

All operations and all anesthetics have risks and they are dependent upon many factors including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Most patients operated on in surgery centers are of the healthier group of patients, and in these circumstances serious complications, while they can occur, are fortunately very rare.

To repeat - the risk of a major complication in an otherwise healthy patient is extremely low. Your anesthesiologist will assess you preoperatively and every precaution will be taken to minimize your risk. Our equipment is the most advanced and up to date. There will be very little in the acute period that we cannot handle as well as the hospital. However, we will routinely see minor problems such as nausea and vomiting, sore throat, dizziness, tiredness, headache, muscle aches, and pain, most of which are easily treated.

 

May I go into the operating room with my child?

There will be circumstances where it is appropriate for a parent to come into the operating room. Studies and experience show that this decision needs to be individualized and discussed between you and your anesthesiologist. There are many situations where other choices are better and possibly even safer.

 

Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?

You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. This complication is very serious and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations. This has nothing to do with nausea and vomiting after your surgery as some think.

We have very clear policies as to specific times before surgery when you must refrain from eating and/or drinking. These are all based on safety standards. Please note that the standards have been revised recently. We believe that the fasting time should be as short as possible before your surgery. You will not improve your safety by not eating or drinking longer than necessary; in fact, at times you may complicate things a bit.

 

May I drive home?

Any patient receiving anesthesia should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home.

All patients must have a ride home and be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk or take public transportation home after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.