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Whether your surgery is taking place in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or an office-based practice, you most likely will be given anesthesia to relieve pain and sensation during surgery. The type and dosage of anesthesia will be determined by your anesthesia provider.
*Please note information provided should not act as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your anesthesia provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your procedure.
A local anesthetic is used to temporarily numb a particular part of the body; this anesthetic will stop the sense of pain in only that area and you will remain conscious for the procedure. Local anesthetics can be given via injection to the affected site, or the anesthetic can be allowed to absorb into the skin. This type of anesthetic is generally used in minor surgical procedures in small areas.
General anesthesia is an anesthetic given through an intravenous (IV) line or inhaled through a breathing mask to render the patient unconscious. General anesthesia typically requires a period of fasting before the procedure. This anesthetic is utilized when the surgical procedure will be prolonged, will affect the patient's ability to breathe, or if there is potential for significant blood loss.
Regional anesthesia is used when a large portion of the body needs to be numbed before undergoing a surgical procedure. Forms of regional anesthetics are spinal and epidural. A spinal anesthetic is used in lower abdominal, rectal, pelvic or lower extremity surgery and involves injecting a dose of local anesthetic into the area that surrounds the spinal cord. This type of anesthesia is often used in orthopedic surgical procedures of the lower extremities. Epidural anesthesia is frequently used during child birth; rather than providing complete anesthesia – which leads to complete loss of feeling – epidural anesthesia provides analgesia, or pain relief that results in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body. For more information on regional anesthesia, view the video below.
Before surgery, you will meet with your anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and they will review your medical history and current condition to determine the appropriate anesthetic for your surgery.
Once under general anesthesia, the anesthesia provider may insert a tube into your mouth to ensure that you get enough oxygen; this also protects your lungs from fluids, like blood. Alternatives to this may be an airway mask, to help manage breathing during your procedure. An anesthesiologist or CRNA will monitor your medications, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs during your surgical procedure.
When your procedure is complete, you will awaken slowly as the medication diminishes. Although side effects vary depending on your individual condition, some common side effects of general anesthetics include dry mouth, sore throat, sleepiness and nausea.
Epidural analgesia is the most popular and common way to control the discomfort of labor. Epidural analgesia has a proven track record and is highly effective. An epidural catheter is a small tube placed through the skin in a space between the bones of the spine and the spinal cord. The size of the catheter is about the same as a fishing line. The end of the catheter lies in the epidural space, the space just outside the spinal cord. The other end of the catheter is then connected to a pump. The pump will give a limited amount of pain medicine at all times. The medicine directly blocks the pain messages sent by the nerves to the brain. For more information on epidurals, download the informational brochure below.
If you have questions about your anesthesia bill or would like to speak with a billing representative, call us toll-free at 866.362.6963 or click the button below.
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LifeLinc recognizes that an exceptional anesthesia team enhances patient safety and experience. Your focus is on your patients’ needs. We understand that you need a strong foundation of staff in order to keep your focus on the people that need you most. Since 2003, we have helped facilities maximize profitability, reduce turnover and foster long-term employment relationships through our comprehensive anesthesia management.