Anesthesia at Dale Medical Center
Preoperative Anesthesia Visit
Because anesthesia and surgery affect every system in the body, the anesthetist will conduct a preoperative interview. During this interview, the anesthetist will review your medical condition and history, and discuss anesthesia implications. They will also inform you about what to expect during your surgery and discuss anesthesia choices for you.
If you have not personally met during the preoperative interview, the anesthetist will meet with you immediately before your surgery to review your entire medical history as well as results of any tests previously conducted. By this time, you will have a clear understanding of your anesthetic needs.
Types of Anesthesia
During surgery, you will be given some form of anesthesia which is the medicine administered for the relief of pain and sensation during surgery. The type and dosage of anesthesia is decided by the anesthetist.
There are various forms of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you will receive will depend on the type of surgery and your medical condition. Usually, an anesthetist will administer a variety of different medications such as sedatives, medications to relieve or prevent pain, those to reduce memory of the event, and those necessary to improve the operating conditions for your surgeon. The different types of anesthesia are as follows:
Local Anesthesia is the medicine given to temporarily stop the sense of pain in a particular area of the body. A patient remains conscious during local anesthetic. For minor surgery, a local anesthetic can be administered via injection to the site. However, when a large area needs to be numbed, or if local anesthetic injection will not penetrate deep enough, the anesthetist may resort to regional anesthetics.
Regional Anesthesia means numbing only the portion of the body which will be operated on. Usually an injection of local anesthetic is given in the area of nerves that provide feeling to the part of the body. There are several forms of regional anesthesia, some of which are described below:
Spinal Anesthetic is often used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal, or lower extremity surgery. This type of anesthetic involves injecting a single dose of anesthetic agent directly into the spinal canal in the lower back, causing numbness in the lower body.
Epidural Anesthetic is similar to the spinal anesthetic and also is commonly used for surgery of the lower limbs, during labor and childbirth. This type of anesthetic involves continually infusing drugs through a thin catheter that has been placed into the space that surrounds the spinal canal in the lower back, causing numbness in the lower back.
General Anesthesia causes a patient to be unconscious during surgery. The medicine is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube or administered through an intravenous line - a thin plastic tube inserted into a vein (usually in the patient's forearm). A breathing tube may be inserted into the windpipe to maintain a proper airway and adequate breathing during the surgery. Once the surgery is complete, the anesthetist discontinues the anesthetic; the patient wakes up in the operating room, and is then transferred to the recovery room. In most cases the induction of sleep is done by injecting the intravenous line.