Anesthesia will be provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA).
The types of anesthesia provided range from sedation to total IV anesthesia.
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 and possibly the cancellation of your procedure. Please follow your instructions very carefully. See sections on Anesthesia Frequently Asked Questions and preparing for Procedure.
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 procedure.
You must make arrangements for a responsible adult to remain in the building during your procedure and to take you home after your procedure. 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 procedure. If you are well informed, you will be better prepared and more relaxed. Talk with your anesthesia provider and ask questions. Your anesthesia provider is your advocate and is experienced in making your procedure and recovery as safe and comfortable as possible.
What to expect
Your anesthesia provider will interview you prior to the procedure. This usually takes place on the day of procedure, but for special reasons some interviews will be initiated before the day of procedure. The anesthesia provider will ask questions about your medical history and review any laboratory tests that have been done. You and your anesthesia provider together will then formulate an anesthetic plan. The anesthetic plan will be tailored specifically for you by taking into account your general medical condition, the type of procedure and your preferences. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have with your anesthesia provider.
In the Procedure Room
In the procedure room, your anesthesia provider is uniquely qualified and personally responsible for directing your anesthetic. Anesthesia providers 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 anesthesia provider 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 30 minutes to 1 hour after the procedure. 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 your procedure. Most patients feel up to their usual activities the next day, so plan to resume your normal activities as directed by your physician. The following day you will be contacted to see how you feel and if there are any problems.