Your Anesthetic Checklist:
What kinds of anesthesia are there?
There are several different types of anesthesia care that we can provide, and the type you will receive is dependent on multiple factors, including your preferences as our patient, the preferences of your surgeon, the type of surgery you will be undergoing, and the outcome of the preoperative evaluation by your anesthesiologist.
These types of anesthesia include local anesthesia, regional anesthesia (nerve blocks, spinal, and epidural), and general anesthesia.
In local anesthesia, an anesthetic drug is injected into the tissue surrounding the site of surgery, which causes numbness in the area of your surgery and makes the surgery more comfortable. This type of anesthesia is often used in minor surgeries where an anesthesiologist may or may not be present. Often, we are requested during local anesthesia cases to assist with additional sedation to make your experience comfortable and safe.
In regional anesthesia involving nerve blocks, your anesthesiologist will inject anesthetic drugs near the nerves that provide feeling to the area that requires surgery. Nerve blocks are an excellent and safe anesthetic technique that not only provide anesthesia for the surgery but can also provide prolonged pain relief to the site of surgery. They are usually (but not exclusively) performed for orthopedic procedures or other procedures that involve the arms or legs.
Spinal and epidural anesthesia involve injecting small amounts of local anesthetics in specific areas in the back. They are an excellent and safe anesthetic technique that can be utilized in a wide variety of surgeries. Epidural are also used to provide prolonged pain relief, especially after certain types of thoracic or abdominal surgery, as well as to provide pain relief during the child birthing process (labor epidurals).
In general anesthesia, your anesthesiologist will administer medications that will cause you to become unconscious, and have no awareness or any other sensation.
Regardless of the type of surgery or anesthesia you receive, you will be carefully monitored by your anesthesiologist throughout the procedure to ensure your well-being. Your anesthesiologist will be directly responsible for your care throughout the entire surgery, and will oversee your care while you are in the recovery room following your surgery.
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