Patients > Frequently Asked Questions
A3 also believes that a well informed, confident patient will make the best decisions about their medical care. The following frequently asked questions will help you with these decisions. In addition, we hope you feel comfortable discussing any other questions or concerns during your first contact with our anesthesiologist or your surgeon.
What is an anesthesiologist?
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who focus on patients undergoing surgery and pain relief. They administer medications designed to prevent the feeling of pain or discomfort during and after surgery. They monitor vital signs and pain management during surgery, the first period of recovery after surgery, and any residual discomfort following recovery.
Our physicians also specialize in other specific areas such as pain management, cardio and respiratory, and addiction therapies.
A CRNA is a registered nurse who undergoes extensive training in the field of anesthesiology. In addition to a nursing undergrad, CRNA’s have completed a Masters degree in the science of anesthesia and works under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist.
Anesthesia care during surgery and afterwards is provided by a medical team, including a board certified anesthesiologist, and a CRNA. This team works in unison to provide the safest anesthesia care available.
The role of the anesthesia team is to safely sedate the patient in preparation for surgery, continually monitor and control all vital signs before, during and after surgery, and safely reverse the effects of anesthesia at the conclusion of the surgery.
After surgery, monitoring continues during the initial recovery until the patient has achieved and maintains a safe level of consciousness.
In addition, anesthesiologists are responsible for prescribing appropriate post operative pain management medications for the patient’s continual comfort and well-being.
There are three general types of anesthesia states.
You will be fully unconscious with no awareness or other sensations. This type of anesthesia is administered typically through vapors introduced through a mask, or I.V. medications. In some instances, a breathing tube may be inserted through your mouth and into the esophagus and your breathing will be constantly and carefully monitored. At the conclusion of the surgery, the anesthesiologist will safely reverse the anesthesia medications, allowing you to regain consciousness.
The anesthesiologist will make an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the surgical area. You will be awake but you will not feel the surgery. In some cases, a mild sedative will be administered.
There are different kinds of regional anesthesia. Two of the most frequently used are spinal and epidural anesthesia typically used for childbirth, knee arthroscopies and prostate surgery.
A drug is injected into the tissue near the surgical site to numb a specific location. This type of anesthesia is used in the instances of minor surgery to the extremities, the hand or the foot.
Your anesthesiologist, after full assessment and review of your medical history, will decide with you which type of anesthesia is most suitable for your surgical situation.
Anesthesia and surgery effects your entire bodily system and different people can respond dissimilarly to medications. Therefore, it is necessary for the anesthesiologist to have complete knowledge of your medical condition, any medications, and alcohol or over the counter drugs use, allergies or previous anesthesia experiences which may affect your response to the medications. This knowledge will help your anesthesia team continue
Your comfort and safety are our primary goals, and depending on the circumstances, some surgeries can be performed using different anesthetic procedures. After reviewing your specific situation, your anesthesiologist will discuss and recommend the most appropriate options with you.
In order to keep you anesthetized, your anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist will administer additional medications that are necessary to maintain your level of anesthesia during the procedure. Depending on the procedure and your physical condition, some of these medications are injected through the I.V. line and others, such as nitrous oxide, are administered through an inhalation mask or breathing tube. Inhalants are administered to patients under general anesthesia suffused with oxygen.
A3’s anesthesia team will constantly monitor and regulate your critical body processes because during surgery, stress and body reflexes can cause significant changes in your physical condition.
While prevention of any complications is our goal, at times they may occur. A3’s anesthesiologist/nurse are expertly trained to treat any issues which may happen.
Because anesthesia and surgery affects your entire body system, it is important for your anesthesia care team to know as much about your medical history as possible.
In addition to making you comfortable during your surgery, the anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist is also responsible for your physical responses to the anesthesia medications during the surgery. Therefore, it is important to give as much information as you have regarding any medical problems, prescribed, over the counter, or herbal medications, allergies, recreational drug use, and reactions to past anesthetic experiences you may have had in the past. This will help to prevent any complications which could interfere with your anesthesia or surgical experience.
In addition, cigarette smoking and alcohol use can change the way your body reacts to medications. While questions about your medical history may seem intrusive at times, honesty and thoroughness in providing this information will enable the anesthesiologist to make the best decisions possible for your treatment.
While all surgeries involving anesthesia have risks, A3 aims through the peri-operative process to eliminate the possibility of any adverse events. Adhering to national standards developed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, A3’s physicians and CRNA’s consistently train and practice to meet these standards. Combined with these standards, the most sophisticated equipment available, and superior use of techniques and medications, the risks during any surgery is vastly reduced.
Any unrelated, but affective medical conditions should be disclosed during your pre-surgical assessment. Although the surgery may not be directly related to any of these, they could become factors during surgery and anesthesia. By making them known to the anesthesiologist and surgeon, they can be prepared for any changes in your medical status resulting from these conditions.
Special instructions to prepare for your surgery will be given to you during your pre-assessment by our medical team. However, as a general rule, the following apply:
Day of Surgery:
What to bring to the center:
When you arrive:
Diet instructions before surgery:
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