We use general anesthesia for many of our procedures. General anesthesia will make you unconscious for your operation, and you won’t feel any pain. Because you'll be in a deep sleep, a specialty-trained doctor called an anesthesiologist will monitor your breathing and other vital signs to keep you safe.
What happens before anesthesia?
You will probably be instructed not to eat or drink anything for 2 to 12 hours before surgery. Follow these instructions carefully. The anesthesia medication can cause the stomach muscles to relax, which can result in stomach contents causing choking or vomiting. You could also breathe stomach contents into your lungs, which could cause serious problems.
Your doctor will take your full medical history. Be sure to report all your medical problems, allergies, current medications, and previous reactions you may have had to anesthesia in the past. This is essential to help your care provider plan the safest possible care. You may also have lab and imaging tests as part of this process.
What happens during?
- You may have an IV placed into a vein in your arm to allow you to receive medications and fluids during the surgery.
- Your anesthesia medication will be given through an IV or as an inhaled gas — or both.
- You may also have a tube inserted through your mouth and into your windpipe to help you breathe during surgery. This will happen after you're asleep.
- Monitors will be used to help our team monitor your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
What happens after?
Some common side effects of general anesthesia include drowsiness, confusion, or restlessness as you wake up. You may also have throat pain, hoarseness, or injury to your mouth or teeth resulting from the breathing tube. There are many other less common side effects and potential risks. Be sure to ask your anesthesiologists about all the potential side effects.
Learn more about general anesthesia: