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What types of anesthesia are available?

Decisions regarding your anesthesia are tailored to your personal needs.
Certain illnesses can potentially make one type of anesthetic better than another.
For instance, a patient with emphysema would probably do better with a spinal.
Meanwhile, a patient with a bleeding disorder or on anticoagulants cannot
have a spinal due to the risk of bleeding in the spinal canal.

 

The types available for you are:

GENERAL ANESTHESIArenders the patient unconscious for the duration of surgery. The patient is typically sedated prior to surgery and put to sleep once in the operating room and awakened in the recovery room.

REGIONAL ANESTHESIAtechniques include spinal blocks, epidural blocks, and arm and leg blocks. Patients undergoing spinal block are also usually sedated prior to surgery, and the spinal is placed in the operating room. This involves sitting the patient upright on the operating table, numbing the skin low in the middle of the back, and with a small-diameter needle injecting a dose of local anesthetic, which begins to work almost immediately. Patients are then sedated for the rest of the operation and allowed to stay in the recovery room until most of the spinal has worn off.

Will I have any side effects? Your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the different anesthetic options, as well as any complications or side effects that can occur with each type of anesthetic. Nausea or vomiting may be related to anesthesia or the type of surgical procedure. Although less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques, these side effects continue to occur for some patients. Medications to treat nausea and vomiting will be given if needed. The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on several factors, especially the type of surgery. Your doctors and nurses can relieve pain with medications. Your discomfort should be tolerable, but do not expect to be totally pain-free. The staff will teach you the pain scale (1-10) to assess your pain level. What will happen before my surgery? You will meet your anesthesiologist immediately before your surgery. Your anesthesiologist will review all information needed to evaluate your general health. This will include your medical history, laboratory test results, allergies and current medications. With this information, together you will determine the type of anesthesia best suited for you. He or she will also answer any further questions you may have.

Will I have any side effects?

Your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the different anesthetic options, as well as any complications or side effects that can occur with each type of anesthetic. Nausea or vomiting may be related to anesthesia or the type of surgical procedure. Although less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques, these side effects continue to occur for some patients. Medications to treat nausea and vomiting will be given if needed. The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on several factors, especially the type of surgery. Your doctors and nurses can relieve pain with medications. Your discomfort should be tolerable, but do not expect to be totally pain-free. The staff will teach you the pain scale (1-10) to assess your pain level.

What will happen before my surgery?

You will meet your anesthesiologist immediately before your surgery. Your anesthesiologist will review all information needed to evaluate your general health. This will include your medical history, laboratory test results, allergies and current medications. With this information, together you will determine the type of anesthesia best suited for you. He or she will also answer any further questions you may have.