At 360 Anesthesia, patients are at the heart of everything we do.
We’re committed to providing individualized, quality patient care and we stay involved at
every step of the patient care process. We understand surgery is a stressful experience, and
our goal is to help our patients become more prepared and relaxed before surgery.
To help educate and guide you through the process, we compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions about anesthesia for surgery.
If you would like more information, please visit the link to the patient education section of the American Society of Anesthesiologists website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of Anesthesia?
- Local Anesthesia
In local anesthesia, an anesthetic drug is injected into the tissue to numb the specific location of your body having minor surgery (for example, the hand or foot).
- Regional Anesthesia
In regional anesthesia, your anesthesia provider injects anesthetics near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. This injection will numb nerves in a large part of your body, so you do not feel the surgery take place. There are several kinds of regional anesthesia, but spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia are the most common. These are typically used during childbirth and prostate surgery.
- General Anesthesia
General anesthesia allows for patients to be unconscious, unaware, and insensitive to pain during surgery. General anesthesia is administered as either an inhaled gas or through a vein (IV). Your anesthesia provider will carefully monitor and control your breathing, heart function, and how deeply you are asleep during the procedure using sophisticated equipment.
There are many benefits to general anesthesia including:
- Allows for the anesthesia provider to control your breathing more easily
- Can be used with muscle relaxants to keep you very still during certain procedures
- Puts you to sleep so you will not be aware of anything or feel pain during surgery
After surgery, your provider will reverse the process, and you will regain consciousness in the recovery room.
Can I eat or drink before surgery?
The general rule is to stop eating all foods eight hours before surgery and to stop drinking clear liquids two hours before surgery. Clear liquids include water, juice, and coffee or tea without milk.
You may get different instructions from your care team about when to stop eating and drinking depending on your health and the type of surgery. Always follow the instructions that your doctor gives you. Otherwise, your surgery may be delayed or rescheduled.
What are the risks of anesthesia?
All operations and all anesthesia procedures have some risks associated with them. These risks depend upon many factors, including the type of surgery and the patient’s medical condition. Fortunately, adverse events are very rare. Anesthesia providers help lower these risks by examining your medical history and conducting a health assessment before surgery, and by monitoring and supervising your care during and after surgery.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Prior to or on the day of your procedure, an anesthesia provider will evaluate your medical condition, including your medical history and current medications. It is extremely important that you follow all directions regarding which medications you should or should not take before your surgical procedure, as well as fasting instructions.
Please tell your anesthesia provider if you or a family member has ever had problems with anesthesia in the past (this includes any history of nausea or vomiting).
Be sure to have a responsible adult with you at the facility to drive you home after the procedure.