Anesthesia

Anesthesia may be provided by a combination of board certified physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA).

What is Ambulatory Anesthesia?

According to the American Society of Anesthesiologist, ambulatory anesthesia is tailored to meet the needs of ambulatory surgery so you can go home soon after your operation.  Short-acting anesthetic drugs and specialized anesthetic techniques as well as care specifically focused on the needs of the ambulatory patient are used to make your experience safe and pleasant.  Because each patient is unique, your anesthesiologist will carefully evaluate you and your health status to determine if you should undergo ambulatory anesthesia.

Types of Anesthesia Available

Regional/Eye Block- This is the most common type for eye surgery.  This technique produces numbness with the injection of local anesthesia around the nerves in the region of the body corresponding to the surgical procedure.  For the EYE BLOCK, you will be given a medication through the IV that will put you to sleep for a short time while the local anesthesia is placed around your eye.  During the surgery medications can be given that can reduce your anxiety and make you comfortable. It is not uncommon for you to recall people talking or music playing while you are in the operating room.

General-This anesthetic choice produces complete unconsciousness so that you do not feel, see or hear anything during the surgical procedure.  The anesthetic medications are given to you through an intravenous line or by breathing anesthetic gases through a tube.

Monitored Anesthesia Care/Local- With this approach, you usually receive pain medication and sedatives through your intravenous line from your anesthesiologist.  The surgeon or anesthesiologist also will inject local anesthesia into the skin, which will provide additional pain control during and after the procedure.

With all forms of anesthesia, your anesthesiologist and/or CRNA will be present to monitor your vital body functions.

The physicians included in this group are:

  • Allied Anesthesia & Pain Management
  • BMW Anesthesia, P.A.
  • Excel Anesthesia
  • TX-An Anesthesia,LLP

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.

What to expect

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.