Frequently Asked Questions
What type of anesthesia will I be receiving for my procedure?
Depending on your past medical history, the surgeon, and the nature of the procedure your anesthesiologist will administer a type of anesthesia that will provide you with the most optimal operative outcome.
What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is the most commonly employed type of anesthesia in the operating room. It involves inducing a state of unconsciousness that allows the surgeon to operate without causing discomfort to the patient. Pain medications are utilized as part of a general anesthetic as well in order to ensure the patient awakens comfortably.
What is MAC anesthesia?
MAC or Monitored Anesthesia Care is also sometimes called deep sedation or "twilight." It is used for shorter less invasive procedures such as colonoscopies or upper endoscopies. While under MAC anesthesia patients are kept comfortable by a steady infusion of intravenous medication. MAC anesthesia has the benefit of being associated with fewer side effects than general anesthesia.
What is regional anesthesia?
Regional anesthesia is becoming more common practice in a wide variety of procedures. It uses local anesthetic to produce a "numb" sensation to the operative area. Local anesthetics provide the benefit of improving post-operative pain without the unwanted side effects of traditional pain medication. Regional anesthesia is most often used for orthopedic procedures but may also be used for procedures of the breast or abdomen. While regional anesthesia is effective at limiting pain it can be used in combination with general anesthesia in order to maximize patient comfort.
What is neuroaxial anesthesia?
Neuroaxial anesthesia is typically reserved for obstetrical patients. Epidurals are the most well known form of neuroaxial and are offered to mothers-to-be to assist with the contraction pain of labor. A spinal injection is very similar in nature to an epidural but is used for patients undergoing a caesarean section. Spinal injections offer a more complete "numb" sensation to the lower half of the body so that mom can rest comfortably during delivery. If you are an expectant mother your anesthesiologist will be more than happy to discuss the benefits and side effects associated with neuroaxial anesthesia with you.
When do I have to stop eating and drinking prior to my procedure?
If your surgery is scheduled before noon it is necessary you avoid eating or drinking anything the morning of surgery. If you need to take home medications that morning you can have sips of water in order to swallow your pills. For afternoon surgery sometimes a light meal (toast, black coffee) is permissible. Our pre-admission testing staff will discuss with you what guidelines to follow.