Doctor Speaking with Patient

Before your procedure, your anesthesiologist will review your medical chart, formulate an appropriate anesthetic plan, and explain your anesthesia options. During the procedure, your anesthesiologist will monitor you and make any necessary interventions to ensure your safety and comfort. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will work together closely and discuss any special needs you may have for postoperative care.

Types of Anesthesia

The type of anesthesia an anesthesiologist chooses differs from patient to patient, taking into account the patient's general health and the type of procedure. There are four main types of anesthesia available:

  • General: Results in a loss of consciousness and sensation.
  • Regional: An injection of local anesthetic provides numbness, loss of pain or loss of sensation to a large area of the body. This type includes techniques such as spinal blocks, epidural blocks and arm and leg blocks. Medications can also make patients comfortable, drowsy, or cause a blurred memory.
  • Monitored: Medications that supplement local anesthetic injections that are administered to make a patient drowsy and relieve pain.
  • Local: An injection that results in numbness to a small area of the body.

BIS Anesthesia Monitor

In addition to monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure, our anesthesiologists are able to monitor how "awake" or "asleep" you are with a technology called Bispectral Index or BIS monitor. Continuously monitoring for the risk of awareness during surgery enables our anesthesiologists to provide just the right amount of anesthesia so that you can wake up more quickly after surgery with less chance of nausea and vomiting. In addition, you may be ready to leave the recovery room sooner without the prolonged grogginess that often results from too much anesthesia.

BIS monitoring is non-invasive, which means there are no catheters or needles required. A BIS sensor - a long adhesive strip with a tab at one end - is placed on the patient's forehead. The sensor is then connected through a cable to a monitor. Together, the sensor and monitor measure your brain activity and then compute a number that correlates with your level of consciousness. Once the procedure is complete, the sensor is removed from your forehead.