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Anesthesia is the practice of medicine that uses specific technology to create loss of feeling or awareness. Long Island Community Hospital partners with an exemplary team of board-certified anesthesiologists who have years of specialty training and expertise in administering anesthetics safely while fulfilling the hospital’s promise of providing quality care for all patients.
Based upon the type of surgery you are having and other individualized factors, you, your anesthesiologist and your surgeon will collaborate to plan your care. Rest assured that the method you and your surgical team choose will be provided safely with respect and concern for your well-being, whether it’s:
- General Anesthesia
- Regional Anesthesia
- Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
This involves making only a particular part of your body numb or insensitive to pain. This is often referred to as “getting a block.” You will be sedated and comfortable while a local anesthetic agent (like many dentists use) will be injected near a nerve or nerve bundle. Some common types of regional anesthesia are spinal, epidural, femoral and cervical/shoulder blocks.
Monitored Anesthesia Care
Combining intravenous sedation with local numbing agents, with monitored anesthesia care, you will sleep throughout your procedure while maintaining your ability to breathe without mechanical assistance. Your may have a soft, clear mask or a tube gently placed by your nose to deliver oxygen only.
Often referred to as “going to sleep,” this type of carefully controlled unconsciousness affects the entire body. Potent drugs are administered through your IV and/or via inhalation through a soft, clear mask placed on your mouth and nose. The process is pain-free and fast-acting. You will be monitored throughout your entire operation to assure that you remain asleep, safe and free from pain. In most cases a device will be inserted into your airway after you are asleep to create a safe passageway for your lungs to receive oxygen and anesthetic inhalation agents. This tube will be removed after the operation is complete and as you are waking up.
What does "monitoring vital signs" mean?
Vital signs are facts about your health that can be measured and may change for various reasons. LI Community Hospital’s Team will monitor your vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and level of pain) in order to provide the best possible treatment to assure your safety and comfort.
Will I need an IV for surgery?
Almost all patients require an intravenous catheter during the perioperative period. This allows medications and fluids into your body through the vein. The IV catheter is flexible and allows freedom of movement.
Will it be cold in the operating room?
Operating rooms are kept between 68-73 degrees. We make it a priority to keep you warm during your surgery by using warming blankets and other warming devices.
Will I need to have a urinary catheter for my operation?
This is a question you may want to ask your surgeon. “Catheter” is a term used to describe a tube. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist may require a “foley” to be placed into your urinary bladder for your safety, depending on the length and type of procedure you are having. Your body makes urine, and the volume you make is a sign of the state of your health. Unless otherwise indicated, your foley will be removed by the first or second day postoperatively.
Will I have to remove my dentures?
Tell your anesthesiologist if you have dentures, partial plates or artificial or capped teeth. Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive, your dentures or plates may need to be removed for your safety. You can bring in your own container if you like, or we can provide one for you. If it is necessary to remove them, you will be asked as close to your operation as possible, and they will be returned to you as soon as you are safely awake.
May I invite my family and friends to come with me?
Yes, you may. Remember, however, that you may be anxious before surgery and tired afterward. Our surgical waiting area is close by, and family and friends will be notified when you can be seen after the operation. Visitors are not always allowed into PACU where you will go immediately after surgery. If you are returning home the same day as surgery, you will need to have someone to drive you and care for you for a period following surgery.
When will I be reunited with my friends and family?
Visitation is determined by the activity and level of acuity of patients in the PACU. Your friends and family may be allowed to visit. We encourage visitors to wait until you are out of the primary recovery area.
How long will I spend in the PACU?
This varies depending upon the type of procedure and anesthesia used. The nursing staff or the surgeon will notify your visitors when you have arrived to the PACU and will be discharged from PACU.
Will I feel nauseous when I wake up?
Nausea after surgery is due to many factors and is not uncommon after surgery. With new methods of anesthesia care and new drugs (called antiemetics) to control nausea, the likelihood you have nausea is much lower than it has been in the past. Prevention of nausea is always considered very important as part of your care.
Where do I go when I leave the PACU?
Where you go next mostly depends on the way you were scheduled for surgery. If you are scheduled to stay in the hospital overnight, you will leave the PACU on a stretcher or bed and go to the nursing unit, where you will be greeted and evaluated by dedicated staff members.
If you are scheduled as an outpatient and expect to go home that day, you will be returned to the same area where you were admitted. The same caring team will allow you to go home once they have determined it is safe to do so. You will be given all of the instructions you need to care for yourself over the next few days. We encourage your family and companions to hear this information. When you leave, you may be drowsy or unsteady on your feet, so we insist that a family member or companion takes you home.
How much pain will I be in when I wake up?
Each person feels pain differently. At LI Community Hospital we are committed to the management of your pain. Our staff will obtain a pain assessment which will include:
- your description and location of your pain.
- the intensity of your pain scored on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being the least intense and 10 being the most intense pain you have ever experienced).
- any activities which can precipitate your pain.
- if you have chronic pain, what level is a comfortable level acceptable for you.
Once evaluated, a treatment plan will be formulated and discussed with you. This treatment plan may include the following:
- positioning for comfort.
- heat or cold applications to the affected area.
- diversionary activities.
- goals to be met.
After implementation of your specific pain management plan, our staff will continually monitor your physiological and psychological response to your specific pain management plan to access its success in reaching the goal of managing your pain. The plan, implementation, assessment and reassessment will continue until the mutually agreed upon goal has been met or you become pain free.
For your planned surgery, your anesthesiologist will discuss postoperative pain management options, which may include a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), a regional block such as epidural or a femoral block to control postoperative pain or medications. Your questions will be answered prior to the surgery in an effort to keep you well informed of your specific pain management plan.
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