To prepare patients for the risks of anesthesia and surgery through education. To encourage patients to ask well informed questions prior to surgery and anesthesia.

While you are Asleep

Starting Anesthesia

Now that you are asleep or sedated and properly numb, it is time for the surgery to take place.  During this time, your anesthesia personnel will be with you constantly maintaining your level of anesthesia.  This includes carefully monitoring your vital signs and measuring the level of the anesthetic you are receiving.  Once the anesthesiologist is satisfied with the level of the anesthesia it is now time for the surgeon to start the case.  For a general anesthetic, it usually takes 10 to 15 minutes from the time a patient gets in the room until the surgery starts.  

Starting Surgery

As soon as the patient is completely asleep or sedated the circulating nurse will begin prepping the patient for surgery.  The surgeon is usually in the room and often assist in positioning the patient.  Once this task is completed the surgery will begin.  Throughout the surgery, it is important the anesthesia keeps the patient sedated, relaxed and unaware of the procedure.  They will rely on the multiple monitoring devices to accomplish this task but the most important factor is constant attention on the part of the anesthesia provider.

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Questions

What if I wake up during surgery?
Today most anesthesia providers take this topic very seriously and use multiple techniques to make sure this does not happen to you.  There are medications often given up front that will prevent you from having awareness during surgery.  The medications given today are fast acting so that you will go to sleep quickly.  Providers use a variety of techniques to make sure you are completely under the effects of the anesthetic.  Some of these even include monitoring of brain wave activities.  It is rare for someone to actually wake up during anesthesia but some people can recall events during surgery.  If you have had this occurrence make sure you tell your anesthesiologist.