Like all qualified medical professionals, our anesthesiologists welcome and encourage questions about surgical procedures and the anesthesia experience. In fact, studies show that well informed patients heal faster and report a better overall surgical experience. Here are some questions you may want to ask your surgeon and anesthesiologist about what to expect before, during and after surgery. Be sure that all of your questions are answered clearly and completely and to your full satisfaction.
What are your qualifications?
How many procedures like this have you done?
Who else might be involved with my anesthesia care?
Will I meet with an anesthesiologist before surgery?
Do you monitor my heart and breathing? What else?
Do you have a 24-hour recovery room? If not, where will I recover?
What are the qualifications of the personnel in the recovery room, and is an anesthesiologist on call to respond to the recovery room?
Who will manage my pain control needs after surgery?
Pacific Anesthesia plays a critical role in patient care. Our anesthesiologists are dedicated to providing quality service, safety and comfort to every patient we care for. We are with patients throughout the entire peri-operative period: before (pre-operative), during (intra-operative), and after (post-operative) surgery.
Before surgery, we begin with a preoperative consultation. During this time you will provide your anesthesiologist with information related to your health. This includes any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, medical history, allergies and any known reactions to anesthesia. It is important to discuss any concerns you have regarding your procedure at this time.
During surgery your anesthesiologist will diagnose and treat any conditions that arise. They will monitor vital life functions and make any necessary changes to the patient specific anesthesia plan that was determined based on the preoperative consultation to keep you safe and comfortable.
After surgery, a postoperative evaluation takes place and the you will be monitored until you are comfortable and anesthesia has completely worn off. Patients may experience side effects following their procedure, the most common being headaches and/or nausea. It is most often required and always best to have arrangements made for someone to drive you home and supervise you during the next 24 hours after an out-patient surgery.
Anesthesia is not the same for everyone. One anesthetic may work just fine for one patient but cause post operative nausea and vomitting in another. One anesthesia procedure may be ideally suited for a particular surgery but may not be an option due to previous injury or illness. Your anesthesiologist will work with you and surgeon to determine the best anesthesia options for you based upon the surgical procedure you are having and your specific medical history.
Anesthesiologists provide two basic types of anesthestic, general and regional. A general anesthetic is one where you will experience a complete loss of consciousness for the duration of the surgical procedure. This is done by either an inhalational or intravenous anesthestic. During this time the anesthesiologist is continuously present to monitor your vital signs and intervene as necessary to keep you safe comfortable.
Regional anesthesia is one where the anesthesia is conducted by numbing the nerves that supply sensation to the surgical area. Typically this is performed with an intravenous sedation that you will likely experience as sleep. This type of anesthetic is commonly used for orthopedic procedures and can be continued after surgery to assit with post operative pain management.
The type of anesthestic you receive will be determined by a variety of factors, including you and your surgeons preferences for the procedure you are having.
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