Anesthesia is the use of medications to enable a patient to comfortably undergo surgery or a procedure or recover from injury or illness.
To an OAG anesthesiologist, however, anesthesia also means much more.
Our physicians recognize that anesthesia care encompasses total care of the surgical patient, before, during and after surgery. This includes ensuring patient comfort, supporting vital life functions, and monitoring, diagnosing and treating any medical conditions that might be pre-existing or arise during surgery.
Types of Anesthesia
Anesthetics are the medicines used in combination by anesthesiologists to block pain, make you drowsy, sedated or completely asleep. Our anesthesiologists draw upon many types of anesthetics and delivery techniques in developing a patient’s unique anesthetic plan. The most common anesthesia categories include:
Intravenous sedation with local anesthetic: You may be made drowsy or asleep while an anesthetic drug is injected to numb a specific location of your body.
Regional anesthesia: An anesthetic is used so you do not feel the procedure. (A labor epidural is an example of regional anesthesia.) You may also be given sedation to make you drowsy or asleep.
General anesthesia: A combination of anesthetics is used to make you deeply asleep and unaware. Your anesthesiologist carefully monitors and controls your treatment during general anesthesia. The depth and duration of anesthesia is calculated and constantly adjusted with great precision. At the conclusion of surgery, your anesthesiologist will reverse the process and facilitate your transition to the recovery phase.
What’s Right for You?
Your anesthesiologist will consider many factors in determining the type of anesthesia that is best for you. He or she will take into account your past and current health, family history, previous surgeries, health issues and allergies, the type and length of procedure you’re having, and results of various laboratory tests, as well as your preference in determining the optimal technique for your unique situation.
Note: Any specific questions about anesthesia should be discussed with your anesthesiologist. The above information is intended for educational purposes only. This information includes material from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
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