Anesthesia at Ashley County 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 anesthetic choices with 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 you 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 a 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 body. There are several forms of regional
anesthetics, 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 anesthesia
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 body.
Brachial Plexus is a local anesthetic injected in a space containing a bundle of nerves
that supply the upper extremity and cause numbness in the whole arm.
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 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.