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Surgical Services

Anesthesia

The goal of anesthesia is to control pain during and after medical procedures, such as surgery. Effective anesthesia can also reduce your fear and anxiety about procedures.

Anesthesia is managed by anesthesiologists — medical doctors trained in anesthesia — and certified registered nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs. CRNAs are advanced-practice registered nurses who specialize in providing anesthesia.

Types of anesthesia

There are three main types of anesthesia:

  • General anesthesia – Under general anesthesia, you’re “asleep.” You will not feel pain and will not remember the procedure.
  • Regional anesthesia – Regional anesthesia prevents nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. It’s used to block pain in an area of the body. These include epidurals, such as used during childbirth.
  • Local anesthesia – Local anesthesia uses medication to numb a small area of your body. Under local anesthesia, you stay awake and are aware of what’s happening to you.
woman getting anesthesia before surgery

Our dedication to anesthesia innovation

Modern approaches to anesthesia allow us to use special techniques to “turn off” nerves that send pain signals to the brain. These allow you to recover faster and safer. Surgery is safest and recovery is faster when you are alert and in control.

When general anesthesia is required, we use anesthetic techniques after the procedure to help control pain with minimal use of opioids or opiates.

Your partner in care

We’ll meet with you before any procedure to discuss your anesthesia options and concerns. Ask any questions you have about how the anesthesia will work and how long it will last.

You’ll also learn about how you should prepare for a procedure, side effects that you might experience and what will happen when the anesthesia wears off.

Controlling pain and speeding recovery

A nerve block is when local anesthetic is used to block the sensation of pain from the brain to a part of the body such as a limb or to a much larger portion of the body such as from the waist down.

According to Alyssia Howard, MD, an anesthesiologist with West Georgia Anesthesia Associates, nerve blocks can help minimize the use of pain medications and maximize a longer lasting pain control that can enable patients to go home sooner after surgery. Nerve blocks can be used on patients of all ages.

What to expect after surgery

According to Tunicia Giron, MD, an anesthesiologist with West Georgia Anesthesia Associates, it's natural for people to have fears associated with anesthesia during surgery.

Tanner's team of anesthesiologists use the latest techniques to ensure a great patient experience. Anti-nausea drugs are administered prior to surgery to help prevent post surgery sickness. Post-operative pain is mitigated and managed with pain medications and/or nerve blocks. And finally, great care is taken to preserve patient modesty and privacy.

Specializing in controlling pain

Along with in-hospital anesthesia services, we also offer the Tanner Pain Management Center. This center specializes in innovative pain control techniques for people with chronic or long-term pain.

Want to know more?

You can learn more about anesthesia - including types of anesthesia and the latest anesthesia research - in our health library.

Advancing Your Recovery From Surgery

Surgery isn't the ordeal it used to be. 

Minimally invasive procedures — made possible through advances in medicine and technology such as robotic surgery systems — allow physicians to work with more precise tools through smaller incisions, allowing for a faster and safer recovery with less discomfort for patients. 

In fact, about 90% of all surgical cases performed at Tanner Health System are on a same-day basis, with the patient discharged from the hospital to recover at home within 24-hours of their procedure.

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