Anesthesia providers are licensed medical professionals who specialize in anesthetics and are highly trained in providing care before, during and after surgery. The anesthesia provider will be with you from the time you enter the operating room until the surgery is complete and you are in recovery. The anesthesia provider keeps you comfortable during and after surgery and protects and regulates critical life functions, such as your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
Types of anesthesia
General anesthesia. General anesthesia anesthetizes the entire body. You are asleep and have no awareness of the surgical procedure.
Regional anesthesia. With regional anesthesia, the anesthesiologist injects medication near a cluster of nerves to numb only a specific area of the body. Examples of regional anesthesia include a spinal block, an epidural and a block of a specific nerve or set of nerves.
Local anesthesia. For some surgical procedures, a local anesthetic may be injected into the skin and tissues to numb a specific location. Regional and local anesthesia may be combined with intravenous sedation to make you drowsy or asleep.
The anesthesia provider, in consultation with the surgeon, determines the best type of anesthesia for you. If you have specific questions about this, please ask the anesthesia provider.
Pre-anesthesia holding area (PAH pronounced “PAW”)
If your procedure requires additional monitoring or specialized equipment, you will be taken to the pre-anesthesia holding area before going to the operating room. A registered nurse will assist the anesthesia provider in any procedures that need to be completed prior to surgery.