Anesthesia for Surgery


CEP America provides anesthesia for surgery at hospitals and community surgery centers across the country. We also frequently provide anesthesia and pain management for non-operating room situations that include the MRI or CT scanner, electro-cardioversions, and ICU procedures. The common types of anesthesia we encounter and perform in our practice are general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, sedation anesthesia, and local anesthesia

Frequently Asked Questions about Anesthesia for Surgery:


When do I need an anesthesiologist?
When do I speak with my anesthesiologist?
The anesthesiologist I talked to is not the anesthesiologist the day of surgery. Why?
What are the risks of anesthesia?
Is anesthesia safe?
What is general anesthesia?
What is regional anesthesia?
What is sedation (MAC) anesthesia?
What is local anesthesia?
Do anesthesiologists ever leave me during surgery?
Can I eat and drink the day of surgery?
Why can I not eat or drink before surgery?
What medications do I take the night before surgery?
What if I have a problem at home after surgery?
When can I drive?
Where do I go after surgery and can I have visitors?
What are my options for pain control after surgery?
 

When do I need an anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists are medical consultants who are usually referred by other physicians who need skills and medical management specific to our profession. These include the delivery of anesthetic drugs for a procedure or to control pain, critical care management, management of airway issues and vascular access techniques (central vein access etc.). You should talk to your surgeon, obstetrician or primary care physician about consulting an anesthesiologist.

When do I speak with my anesthesiologist?

The night before surgery, the anesthesiologist assigned to your case will typically call you at home. You will have an opportunity to ask questions at this time. If the anesthesiologist is unable to reach you by phone, there will be an opportunity prior to entering the operating room the day of the surgery to speak with your anesthesiologist.

The anesthesiologist I talked to is not the anesthesiologist the day of surgery. Why?

While the vast majority of cases are done by the anesthesiologists who talked to you the night before, occasional scheduling conflicts or last minute emergency cases may mean another anesthesiologist may be assigned to your case.

What are the risks of anesthesia?

The risks of anesthesia are dependent on several factors: the type of procedure being done, the general health of the patient and the type of anesthetic technique being used. The four major anesthetic techniques being used in our practice: general anesthesiaregional anesthesiasedation (MAC) anesthesia, and local anesthesia are listed below. You should discuss with your anesthesiologist any questions you have about specific risks.

Is anesthesia safe?

There are risks and benefits to every anesthetic technique. Advancements in anesthesia knowledge, monitoring equipment and medication make the practice of anesthesia much safer today than in the past. Anesthesia, as a specialty, is often cited in the medical profession for the successful implementation of safety efforts in education and practice. Our group's practice, in particular, has one of the best safety records in the Bay Area as rated by a major insurer.

What is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is commonly referred to as being "put asleep" and is probably the most common anesthetic technique in practice today. The basic principle of general anesthesia is that anesthetic medications are used to interfere with the brain's ability to "sense" or "feel" stimulation from surgery or a procedure. Common side effects of general anesthesia include post-operative sedation or "sleepiness", nausea, mouth/throat soreness and eye irritation.

What is regional anesthesia?

Please see our regional anesthesia section.

What is sedation (MAC) anesthesia?

Please see our sedation anesthesia section.

What is local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia is the practice of using numbing medication at the site of the procedure by the surgeon. This practice does not involve the consultation of an anesthesiologist. Usually local anesthesia is reserved for relatively minor procedures. Please talk to your surgeon if you have further questions.

Do anesthesiologists ever leave me during surgery?

No. CEP America anesthesiologists never leave you alone during surgery or a procedure requiring an anesthesiologist. If an anesthesiologist needs to leave the procedure for any reason, another anesthesiologist will take their place.

Can I eat and drink the day of surgery?

In general, it is best not to have anything to eat or drink following midnight the day prior to surgery. Your anesthesiologist will give you more detailed instructions for your specific case.

Why can I not eat or drink before surgery?

Anesthesia decreases the patient's ability to protect their lungs from food or liquids entering. Patients can and have developed severe lung complications from food and liquids entering their lungs under anesthesia and during surgery.

What medications do I take the night before surgery?

During your phone call with your anesthesiologist, you will be instructed which medications to take. A nurse or someone from the surgeon's office sometimes may also contact you to go over your medication list. You may take any medications instructed by your anesthesiologist for the day of surgery with a small sip of water.

What if I have a problem at home after surgery?

If you have a medical emergency, you should contact your surgeon or dial 911. If you have questions regarding your anesthesia or have side effects related to your anesthesia, you may contact the CEP America Anesthesia Services office at 408-354-2114. The office will be able to get you in touch with the appropriate person.

When can I drive?

At discharge, you will receive instructions regarding resuming normal activities. Every patient differs with respect to the operation performed, anesthesia received, and pain medications received, so patients will receive individualized instructions at discharge.

Where do I go after surgery and can I have visitors?

Surgical patients immediately go to the recovery room after their procedure where they are closely monitored by specially trained nursing staff. Usually visitors are prohibited from the recovery room due to medical and privacy concerns, however exceptions are permitted particularly for pediatric patients or if communication issues exist. Please talk your surgical nurse about specific questions.

What are my options for pain control after surgery?

Surgical patients going home (out-patients) typically are discharged with pain pills and prescriptions from their surgeon. Surgical patients being admitted to the hospital (in-patients) in addition will have intravenous pain medications and even regional techniques such as epidural anesthesia available to them. Please discuss your pain control regimen with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.