Surgery Anesthesia

Keeping you comfortable throughout your procedure

If you’re having surgery in a hospital, outpatient surgery center, imaging center or doctor’s office, you may be worried about feeling uncomfortable. Anesthesia is given to help keep you sedated or asleep so you can be comfortable during your procedure.

Overview

If you’re having surgery in a hospital, outpatient surgery center, imaging center or doctor’s office, you may be worried about feeling uncomfortable. Anesthesia is given to help keep you sedated or asleep so you can be comfortable during your procedure.

Anesthesia for Your Surgery

If you are having surgery, an anesthesiologist will meet with you before your procedure to learn your medical history and make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery. The anesthesiologist will also:

  • Discuss anesthesia options with you and learn your preferences
  • Give the anesthesia you need for surgery
  • Monitor your vital signs (heart rate and rhythm, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and body fluid balance) during surgery
  • Check on you after surgery in the recovery unit to make sure you’re coming out of anesthesia as expected
  • Order medication you may need after surgery to control your pain

If you have a condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart problem or high blood pressure, it may affect how your body responds to anesthesia. An anesthesiologist takes all of these factors into consideration when deciding which and how much anesthesia to give you for your surgery.

Types of Anesthesia

Types of anesthesia include:

  • General – Given through an IV (intravenous) directly in your bloodstream to put you asleep during the procedure
  • Sedation – Given through an IV or by breathing in gas through a mask; a milder anesthesia that makes you drowsy and less aware of the procedure
  • Regional – Given by an injection into or near nerves to block all feeling in parts of your body; you remain awake
  • Local – Given by an injection to numb a part of your body affected by surgery; you remain awake

What To Expect

Anesthesia for Your Surgery

If you are having surgery, an anesthesiologist will meet with you before your procedure to learn your medical history and make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery. The anesthesiologist will also:

  • Discuss anesthesia options with you and learn your preferences
  • Give the anesthesia you need for surgery
  • Monitor your vital signs (heart rate and rhythm, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and body fluid balance) during surgery
  • Check on you after surgery in the recovery unit to make sure you’re coming out of anesthesia as expected
  • Order medication you may need after surgery to control your pain

If you have a condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart problem or high blood pressure, it may affect how your body responds to anesthesia. An anesthesiologist takes all of these factors into consideration when deciding which and how much anesthesia to give you for your surgery.

Types of Anesthesia

Types of anesthesia include:

  • General – Given through an IV (intravenous) directly in your bloodstream to put you asleep during the procedure
  • Sedation – Given through an IV or by breathing in gas through a mask; a milder anesthesia that makes you drowsy and less aware of the procedure
  • Regional – Given by an injection into or near nerves to block all feeling in parts of your body; you remain awake
  • Local – Given by an injection to numb a part of your body affected by surgery; you remain awake

Be sure to write down the questions you want to ask your doctor about surgery anesthesia in advance so you don’t forget them at your appointment.

  • How long will I be unconscious from anesthesia?
  • Does someone stay with me the entire time I’m unconscious?
  • Have any of your patients had bad reactions to anesthesia? What happened to them?
  • How can you know if I’ll react poorly to anesthesia if I’ve never had it?
  • Can I drive myself home from an outpatient procedure in which I’ve had anesthesia?
  • What percentage of patients gets nauseated from anesthesia?
  • How will you help me if I have nausea after I come out of anesthesia?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Be sure to write down the questions you want to ask your doctor about surgery anesthesia in advance so you don’t forget them at your appointment.

  • How long will I be unconscious from anesthesia?
  • Does someone stay with me the entire time I’m unconscious?
  • Have any of your patients had bad reactions to anesthesia? What happened to them?
  • How can you know if I’ll react poorly to anesthesia if I’ve never had it?
  • Can I drive myself home from an outpatient procedure in which I’ve had anesthesia?
  • What percentage of patients gets nauseated from anesthesia?
  • How will you help me if I have nausea after I come out of anesthesia?

Patient Stories for Surgery Anesthesia

When Seconds Count

This website provides information about preparing for surgery to help ensure you receive the highest-quality care.

MedlinePlus

You can find a thorough explanation of lithotripsy on this national government site so that you know what to expect before your procedure and understand what questions to ask your physician.

Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia

This website provides a large quantity of information about how anesthesia is used in surgery centers. There is also a section of answers to common questions.

Surgery Anesthesia Resources

When Seconds Count

This website provides information about preparing for surgery to help ensure you receive the highest-quality care.

MedlinePlus

You can find a thorough explanation of lithotripsy on this national government site so that you know what to expect before your procedure and understand what questions to ask your physician.

Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia

This website provides a large quantity of information about how anesthesia is used in surgery centers. There is also a section of answers to common questions.