Meet Your Anesthesia Provider

The anesthesia evaluation is one of the more important aspects of your entire surgical experience. It will help determine if you are ready for your surgery or if there are any problems that need to be resolved. While you are being prepared for surgery by nursing personnel you will likely receive a visit from the anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Depending on where you go for your surgery the anesthesia service may be an anesthesia team which includes anesthesiologists, CRNAs or Anesthesia Assistants. In other centers, it could be only anesthesiologists or only CRNAs. This is why we will call them Anesthesia Providers to keep it simple. In todays’ world of anesthesia all providers are usually board certified in their specialty.

Purpose of the Visit

The purpose for this visit will be to review any previous evaluations and testing recently completed during your evaluation process.  This would include your lab work, EKG, chest x-ray and any consultations performed.  In addition, they will take the opportunity to review your history, any pertinent family history and do an anesthesia focused physical exam.  This evaluation is very important as it will be done by the individuals directly involved in your care during surgery.  It is also a good time to identify any new changes that might have taken place since the visit to your surgeon.  It is hard to count the number of times that new problems have developed that required the cancellation of the surgery for the patient’s safety such as Unstable Angina or Malignant Hypertension.

Discussing the Anesthetic

After the evaluation, the anesthesiologist and/or CRNA will discuss the appropriate anesthetic for your situation.  This choice is dependent on many factors such as the surgery to be performed, your medical condition or age.  The key here is to give you an anesthetic that keeps you safe and comfortable during the surgery.  There are also anesthetic considerations that make the surgeon’s work easier. You will also hear about pain management techniques that would make your recovery easier post operatively.

Questions to ask

When can I find about more about my anesthetic?

This is the perfect time to ask your anesthesia provider how your anesthesia will be given. You can let them know if you have concerns and what they are. Ask them to tell you about a general anesthetic, a MAC anesthetic or a regional anesthetic.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.