patients-ace-anesthesiaWhat is an anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists are physicians (MDs & DOs) who have had three to five years of additional specialized training beyond medical school.

What is a CRNA?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are masters prepared registered nurses who have specialized in anesthesia and have graduated from an accredited nurse anesthesia program.

What is anesthesia?

There are three main categories of anesthesia: General Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia, and Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC).

General anesthesia is used for most surgeries. This means you will be totally asleep during the procedure. Specific risks pertaining to general anesthesia include, but are not limited to, the possibility of sore throat, hoarseness, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, damage to teeth, eyes, or airway, injury to arteries or veins, awareness under anesthesia, and pain or discomfort continuing after the procedure.

Regional anesthesia, such as Bier Block, epidural or spinal anesthesia, can be used when only a portion of the body needs to be “asleep”. Often, medication to make you drowsy can be given during regional anesthesia if you are concerned about being awake in the operating room. Specific risks pertaining to regional, spinal, epidural anesthesia include, but are not limited to, the possibility of pain or discomfort, injury to arteries or veins, residual pain, loss of sensation or dysfunction, headache, a drop in blood pressure, seizures, or failure of regional, spinal, epidural anesthesia and subsequent need for general anesthesia.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) involves sedation and monitoring and is used for procedures requiring deeper levels of sedation to insure your comfort, but which do not normally require general anesthesia. Specific risks pertaining to MAC include, but are not limited to, the possibility of pain or discomfort, failure of MAC and subsequent need for general anesthesia.

Preparing for your procedure

Pre-Admission Testing

    • Bring a list of your current medications & dosages
    • Know your health problems
    • Know who your doctors are & when you last visited your doctor
    • Follow your pre-surgery instructions. These instructions will be given to you at your pre-testing interview.

Day of Procedure

    • Review your health problems with your anesthesia provider
    • The type of anesthesia you receive will be determined by the anesthesiologist after considering factors such as your state of health, physical examination, the type of procedure you will be undergoing, your desire and the desires of your surgeon.
    • If you have any questions about your anesthesia, your anesthesia provider will be available to discuss them with you.


    • Have a responsible adult available at the hospital for transportation and/or any other personal needs.