To begin your surgery, you will go through a process known as induction of anesthesia. If you and your anesthesia professional have elected to use general anesthesia there are certain steps that will take place. The first thing you will notice is that your caretaker will get busy placing all the important monitoring devices. These will include an EKG to monitor your heart electrical activity, and automatic blood pressure cuff that will check your blood pressure every 5 minutes, an oximeter to check your oxygen levels continuously and BIS monitor to measure EEG activity for awareness. If your case requires an arterial line or central line it will be attached to a machine that will do all the monitoring.
Once the monitoring devices are working properly the anesthetist will begin the process. One essential ingredient is oxygen to be administered by mask to prevent any dangerous drops in your oxygen levels as you go off to sleep and your breathing is blunted. During these moments, the anesthetist will encourage you to breathe deeply and think of where you would want to go for your next vacation. At this moment, they will inject medications in your intravenous line. These medications are fast acting sedating agents which often burn at the injection site but will get you off to sleep in seconds.