Anesthesiology, Preoperative and Pain Medicine Patient FAQs

The following are some common patient questions and answers related to anesthesiology services.

Q: What do I need to do before my surgery to prepare for anesthesia?
A: Prior to all operations, there is always some preparation involved. You will receive complete instructions in advance. If you are having an operation requiring a general anesthetic, a spinal anesthetic or a procedure where heavy sedation will be used, you may need to refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight on the evening before your procedure (unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon).

Q: What if I take medication and I’m scheduled for surgery?
A: It is helpful to bring a list of your medications, including the specific dosages, to your office appointment and to your preadmission testing appointment so that these can be reviewed with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. You will then be instructed on which medicines you may take.

Q: What if I have medical issue or have had a complication with anesthesia in the past?
A: Certain medical issues require preoperative consultation prior to surgery. In particular, if you have a history of coronary artery disease, lung condition, dental problem, nerve or muscle weakness, or if you have had a problem with anesthesia in the past, you should notify your surgeon on the day of your initial consultation.

Q: How will my pain be managed during my surgery or procedure?
A: Our anesthesiologists have many different ways to keep you from feeling pain during surgery or a medical procedure. We are experts both in general anesthesia, in which you are asleep during a procedure, and in regional anesthesia, where anesthetic techniques and agents are used to numb a part of your body to keep you from feeling pain. General anesthesia today is safer and more effective than ever before, often resulting in a faster recovery. In addition, many procedures that until only recently required general anesthesia can now be performed using regional pain control, which can make recovery even easier.

Q: What if I have pain after my surgery?
A: Our anesthesiologists will discuss managing post-surgery pain prior to your operation. Most types of surgery will result in some pain afterwards, but our staff can offer you many options for management. These options include oral medication, pain-control injections, and intravenous (IV) pumps. We also will guide you on how to manage pain once you return home.