What is anesthesia?
Anesthesia is the safe administration of medication to allow a medical procedure or surgery to be completed without causing the patient pain while also minimizing or eliminating awareness. It also controls the patient’s reaction to stress and reduces fear and anxiety.
What is an anesthesiologist?
An anesthesiologist (or anesthetist) administers anesthesia or supervises the administration of anesthesia for medical procedures and surgeries requiring the control of pain and/or the management of the vital functions of the body. An anesthesiologist also is available for expert consultation in the management of any number of perioperative or critical care patient needs, including acute pain management, difficult or invasive vascular access and emergency airway support.
What are the four types of anesthesia?
General anesthesia uses several medications, given through an IV and/or mixed with oxygen and inhaled, to render a patient unconscious and unresponsive to any stimulation.
Regional anesthesia involves injecting specific areas of the body with a numbing medication that works on the nerves of the injected area. The patient can be sedated or fully conscious during the regional anesthesia, and can receive any other type of anesthesia afterwards.
Local anesthesia is used to numb a small site and does not affect a patient’s general awareness.
Monitored anesthesia care is sedation administered through an IV to make a patient sleepy and calm during a procedure or surgery. The level of sedation can vary from light, during which the patient is groggy but aware, to heavy, during which the patient is unaware of what is happening but can be roused relatively quickly.
During pre-admission testing and education prior to having any medical or surgical procedure at Tanner, an anesthesiologist will discuss the type of anesthesia that will be administered. Be sure to ask any questions that you may have at that time.
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