Q&A

Verify and make sure you know who will be giving you anesthesia. This may be a physician anesthesiologist (a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesia) or a physician anesthesiologist who supervises anesthesiologist assistants, residents or nurse anesthetists on an Anesthesia Care Team. In some states, a nurse anesthetist may work alone without physician oversight, although this is not permitted in many states. It is important that you ask your surgeon or call the hospital in advance to ensure that a physician anesthesiologist will be on site.

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/09/10-questions-anesthesia.html

Your anesthesiologist will advise you what the best anesthesia for you is.
This could be either:

General Anesthesia: This is where you are unconscious and have no awareness of other sensations. This could be in the form of vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or even medications instilled through a vein. An additional breathing tube may be inserted through your mouth and frequently into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing. Your anesthesiologist will monitor you closely during this time and adjust the length and level of anesthesia to fit the surgery.

Regional anesthesia: The anesthetic drug is injected near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. The most common used regional anesthesia are spinal and epidural anesthesia that are injected in the back and are frequently used for childbirth and prostate surgery.

http://www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com/FAQs/types%20of%20anesthesia.aspx

Local anesthesia: This is usually used when undergoing a minor surgery. The anesthetic drug is injected into the tissue to numb a specific area of your body.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000183.htm

This depends, it is crucial that you inform your anesthesiologist in advance of your surgery if you are taking any medication to prevent complications in the surgery. Modern anesthetic techniques usually allow you to continue taking your scheduled medications even prior to the operation, unless it is advised not too. It is important that you check with your surgeon or anesthesiologist beforehand.

http://www.cas.ca/English/Anesthesia-FAQ

An allergic reaction to anesthesia involves hives or weals on the skin, wheezing in the lungs or swelling of the mouth, throat or eyes, and could even lead to a decline in blood pressure. In some cases, patients believe that they have had an allergic reaction to anesthesia such as nausea or vomiting however these are side effects of the anesthetic drug and not the actual allergic reactions itself.

http://www.cas.ca/English/Anesthesia-FAQ

The risks of anesthesia vary depending on the person’s medical history, type of anesthesia used and the type of surgery performed. It is important to note that the postoperative care following a surgery should be closely monitored to ensure the patients mental health is stable.
The American College of Surgeons have developed an easy-to-use online calculator (www.riskcalculator.facs.org) to predict your outcome risk depending on the type of surgery, your age and any medical problems you may have.  The analysis estimates your chance of a heart attack, pneumonia, infection, and other problems that may occur after anesthesia and surgery. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/09/10-questions-anesthesia.html / http://www.cas.ca/English/Anesthesia-FAQ 

This depends on the type of anesthesia that you require or request. The choice of anaesthetic is the patients but both surgeon and anaesthetist will give advice as to which or even both that you require. Some procedures are relatively short and thus require an anaesthetic that is designed for a speedy recovery. For example having a minor procedure in a day case hospital will result in a short acting anaesthetic to allow a prompt recovery and timely release to the care of your partner or other individual. More complex surgery lasting several hours and with a likely painful outcome may result in the use of long acting painkillers that make you sleepy. Furthermore the longer you are anaesthetized the more anaesthetic is absorbed into your body-fat and muscle. As you wake up and begin to move around some of this anaesthetic gets back into your head so you may feel sleepier again. This may go on for some time before all your anaesthetic medicines are cleared. Anaesthetics leave your body by being metabolized and broken down into water soluble, inactive compounds that are secreted by your liver, kidneys or in the case of gas anaesthetics, your lungs.
Anaesthesia Recovery
Going under may only take a few seconds, but waking up from anaesthesia is done gradually. The type of anaesthetic, amount of time spent under, any secondary health conditions, and many more factors can affect the process, making it essential to have close supervision by nurses.

Vital Signs – To ensure the patient is recovering properly, nurses maintain a close watch on vital signs including blood pressure, breathing, pulse, hydration, and more. They may also test mental function and level of consciousness.

Pain Levels and Medication – After surgery, it is often necessary to administer pain medication, and depending on the extent of the surgical procedure, this may range from a low-dose pill to Fentanyl or morphine.

Monitoring patients during anaesthesia is mandatory in most countries. A trained nurse anaesthetist or a doctor trained in anesthesiology (physician anesthetist) will monitor you during and after surgery. The terms differ according to the country of origin. There is no difference in the outcome between patients looked after by either type of expert. However physician anesthetists usually anesthetize patients requiring complex surgery or if they are very ill or high risk. “Coming round” from an anaesthetic is a risky period for a patient though not so great as during surgery. Specially trained nurses look after you during this period. This occurs in the recovery ward, Post anaesthesia care unit, high dependency unit or intensive care unit. Monitoring facilities are the more or less the same as in the operating theatres. Nurses have immediate access to the anaesthetist and in most hospitals there is always an anaesthetist available if a patient remains in the recovery ward. Depending on how major your surgery was or how ill you are determines where you spend most of your time. Most patients are stabilized in a recovery ward before returning to their usual ward or even discharged home. Others may spend between hours and days in units where there are two or more nurses per patient. Some countries or states (like California) mandate by law the number of nurses there should be to the number of patients.

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