While you are prepared for surgery by nursing personnel you will likely receive a visit from the anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). On this website we will use the term Anesthesia Provider or (AP). 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.
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.
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.