Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic Charleston Orthopaedic
Charleston Orthopaedic
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Procedures >> Anesthesia & You

What types of Anesthesia are available?

Decisions regarding your anesthesia are tailored to your personal needs. The types available for you are: general anesthesia, which provides loss of consciousness. and regional anesthesia, which involves the injection of a local anesthetic to provide numbness, loss of pain or loss of sensation to a large region of the body. Regional anesthetic techniques include spinal blocks, epidural blocks and arm and leg blocks. Medications can be given to make you drowsy and blur your memory.

Will I have any side effects?

Your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the different anesthetic options, as well as any complications or side effects that can occur with each type anesthetic. Nausea or vomiting may be related to anesthesia or the type of surgical procedure. Although less of a problem today because of improved anesthetic agents and techniques, these side effects continue to occur for some patients. Medications to treat nausea and vomiting will be given if needed. The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on several factors, especially the type of surgery. Your doctors and nurses can relieve pain with medications. Your discomfort should be tolerable, but do not expect to be totally pain-free.

What will happen before my surgery?

You will meet your anesthesiologist immediately before your surgery. Your anesthesiologist will review all information needed to evaluate your general health. This will include your medical history, laboratory test results, allergies, and current medications. With this information, you will together determine the type of anesthesia best suited for you. He or she will also answer any further questions you may have. You will also meet your surgical nurses. Intravenous (IV) fluids will be started and pre- operative medications may be given, if needed. Once in the operating room, monitoring devices will be attached such as a blood pressure cuff, EKG and other devices for your safety. At this point, you will be ready for anesthesia. If you would like to speak to your anesthesiologist before you are admitted to the hospital, this can be arranged through the Total Joint Coordinator.

During the surgery, what does my anesthesiologist do?

Your anesthesiologist is responsible for your comfort and well being before, during and immediately after your surgical procedure. In the operating room, the anesthesiologist will manage vital functions, including heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing. The anesthesiologist also is responsible for fluid and blood replacement when necessary.

What can I expect after the operation?

After surgery, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). You will be watched closely by specially trained nurses. During this period, you may be given extra oxygen and your breathing and heart functions will be observed closely. An anesthesiologist is available to provide care as needed for your safe recovery.

May I choose an Anesthesiologist?

Although most patients are assigned an anesthesiologist, you may choose one based on personal preference or insurance considerations. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, or medical plan participation by the anesthesiologist, please contact your insurance company for guidance. Requests for specific anesthesiologists should be submitted in advance, through your surgeon's office for coordination with the surgeon's availability.

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