Patient FAQs

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesiology, as defined by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.

What is an Anesthesiologist?

An anesthesiologist is a highly trained critical care physician who cares for the patient in the pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative phases of their procedure. The typical education of our Anesthesiologists is the completion of four years of medical school, a one year internship followed by a three year residency and sometimes a one year fellowship to receive specialized training in a certain are of expertise. All of our anesthesiologists are board certified or eligible by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

What is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)?

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist also known as a CRNA is a registered nurse with additional specialized training in anesthesia. CRNA’s are required to hold a Bachelor of Science in nursing, obtain at least one year of experience in an acute care nursing setting (ICU), completion of an accredited masters-level Nurses Anesthetist education program and pass the certification exam.

What is the Care Team Approach?

The care team approach is when both an Anesthesiologist and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist work as a team to administer anesthesia to the patient. In the team approach, the Anesthesiologist supervises the CRNA by overseeing patient care, is the ultimate decision maker and delegates tasks to the CRNA as he/she sees fit. The main goals of this approach are patient safety, patient outcomes and quality of service. Some of our facilities including Mary Immaculate Hospital and Riverside Regional Medical Center employ the care team approach.

Preparation for Surgery

Before surgery, the anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team reviews the medical record to include medications, allergies including drug allergies, results from pre-surgery tests, and previous surgeries or anesthetics, especially if problems or complications arose. Please remember before receiving anesthesia, a patient should not eat after midnight.

Prior to your surgery, the anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team performing your anesthesia will meet with you face to face to ask any additional questions he/she may have about your overall health. A brief physical exam may also take place. The anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team will inform you of the anesthesia options and the associated benefits and risks, so that you will have a full understanding and in some instances have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. During this time, please ask any questions or express concerns you may have. This is also the chance to explain any unique medical conditions that may affect anesthesia.

During Surgery

A member of the anesthesia care team will be with you during the entire surgery. During your procedure the anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team will monitor your vital signs and administer medications as deemed necessary. They may also monitor IV fluids, blood volume and function of the lungs, kidneys and heart with special monitors. The anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team will also be in the recovery room and stay with you until you are stable and the anesthetic wears off.

What are the Methods of Anesthesia?

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I expect after surgery?

The effects of the anesthetic may last several hours after surgery. Although not as much as in the past, nausea and vomiting does occur infrequently from the anesthetic. Only about 10-20% of patients experience this and this percentage is affected by the type of procedure. The nausea and vomiting is short-lived, due to the immediate administration of medicine to combat the symptoms.

Do we have a pain management clinic?

Unfortunately, we no longer have or are affiliated with a pain management clinic.