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Anesthesia During Surgery

Our specialists choose anesthetic medicines very carefully. Indiana University Health anesthesiologists maintain a fine balance between protecting you from the pain of surgery while keeping you safe by ensuring your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs are not affected by medicines.

Throughout surgery, our highly skilled physicians remain focused on your safety and comfort, striving to:

  • Control your pain
  • Maintain your anesthetic sleep
  • Keep your vital signs healthy
  • Prepare to wake you up

Because of our depth of experience in caring for patients during surgery, we have extensive knowledge of the possible challenges that can arise. Our physicians are prepared to keep you safe should anything unexpected happen. 

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Anesthesia During Surgery Treatment Information

We use three main forms of anesthesia during surgical and nonsurgical procedures: local anesthetic, sedation and general anesthesia (controlled unconsciousness). Your anesthesiologist determines which of these is most appropriate for your procedure and condition.

Local anesthetic is administered through a shot or multiple shots into the area affected by surgery. These anesthetics numb the area so you do not feel pain or other sensations throughout the procedure.

Sedation is a milder form of general anesthesia that limits your awareness of the procedure. You may receive sedation intravenously (through an IV) or by breathing in an anesthetic gas. Sedation is used during short, quick procedures in combination with local anesthetics. It is unlikely that you will remember anything that happened while you were sedated.

General anesthesia is delivered intravenously (through an IV) and causes complete unconsciousness. You do not feel any pain or become aware at all of the procedure.

While you are sedated or under general anesthesia, your anesthesiologist or another anesthesiology team member carefully monitors your vital signs. These include:

Your anesthesiologist manages your medicines throughout surgery to ensure you remain in the proper state of sedation or unconsciousness. Our expert anesthesiologists have the skill and experience necessary to keep you safely sedated and make adjustments as your body responds to medicines and the surgery itself.

Depending on the procedure and type of anesthesia, you may also need to receive oxygen or fluids during surgery. Your anesthesiologist administers these to maintain your well-being for the duration of surgery.

After the procedure is complete, a member of the anesthesiology team begins the process of waking you from your sleep or sedation. Careful regulation of anesthetic during surgery helps with this transition. 


Anesthesia During Surgery Locations & Physicians

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Find a Specialist

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Anesthesia During Surgery Support Services

Find out more about the different types of anesthesia and what to expect on the day of surgery at the websites below.