If you plan to undergo surgery, it’s likely that you will require anesthesia, which is the administration of anesthetic medications to prevent patients from feeling pain during a medical procedure.
A qualified anesthesia professional oversees and dispenses the anesthetics. The anesthesiologist may interview you before surgery to learn more about your medical history and to determine the right amount of care you’ll need. They will monitor your body’s response to the anesthetics during surgery and make any necessary modifications during the course of the procedure.
There are different types of anesthesia used depending on the extent of the surgical procedure. Anesthetics may be given as an injection, through an IV or as a gas or vapor, which is given through a breathing tube or mask. The four categories of anesthetics include:
Local anesthesia: When local anesthesia is used, the patient is awake, but a small area of the body is made numb. Local anesthesia may be used for a procedure like cataract surgery or a skin biopsy.
Regional anesthesia: In this case, a larger section of the body is numbed but patients are still conscious. Situations that would require regional anesthesia include knee surgery or a cesarean (C-section).
General anesthesia: General anesthesia is used for major operations, such as back surgery or open-heart surgery. During general anesthesia, patients are put in a sleep-like state, and have no awareness or sensations.
Sedation: A doctor may choose sedation when local anesthetic isn’t enough but doesn’t want to go as deep as general anesthesia. Monitored sedation makes a patient feel relaxed, though still awake and can answer questions. It may be used for shorter or less complicated surgeries like colonoscopies or minor foot surgery.
Anesthesia is safe, thanks to continuing medical developments. Of the different anesthetics, general anesthesia is the one most likely to result in side effects or carry risks that are usually minor or temporary, which is why it is now used only when absolutely necessary. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting and chills. A sore throat may be the result of a breathing tube.
Have your provider contact us to schedule your surgery with us. If you have concerns or questions about the type of anesthesia that will be administered, please call the Surgery Center of Fort Collins at 970-821-8634. We make every effort so you’ll feel comfortable having surgery at our surgery center.