Frequently Asked Questions

The thought of undergoing anesthesia, and especially of undergoing general anesthesia strikes terror in the hearts of many people. Here are some frequently asked questions.

Q:  Will I be able to see an anesthesia provider before my procedure?

A: Most adult patients are seen by nurse practitioners in our preoperative clinic prior to their procedure. At this appointment, be prepared to discuss your medical history including all medications you may be taking. According to your age, pending procedure, and medical history, further tests may be needed to complete your preoperative workup. The nurse practitioner will be able to discuss the type of anesthesia required for your procedure and can answer your questions. This visit to the preoperative clinic will be scheduled by your surgeon’s office. You will meet the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist assigned to your case on the day of surgery. This team will discuss the detailed anesthesia plan with you and you can ask any further questions you may have.

Often, pediatric patients do not need to be seen preoperatively in the clinic. We see most healthy pediatric patients the day of surgery. At this time, we review the medical history and discuss the anesthetic plan with the patient and family. If you would like to talk with a pediatric anesthesiologist prior to the day of surgery, please contact our office.

Q:  Why can I not have anything to eat prior to my procedure?

A: The American Society of Anesthesiologist has strict guidelines regarding eating prior to anesthesia. These guidelines are in place for patient airway safety and prevention of aspiration. You will be notified of the guidelines either at your preoperative appointment or by your surgeon’s office. If the guidelines are not followed, the procedure may be cancelled or delayed. Often the guidelines are increased given the likelihood that your procedure may be moved up in the day if another scheduled case is cancelled. Please follow the guidelines as given to you.

NPO Guidelines (time prior to procedure):

2hrs: Clear liquids (coffee without cream, sprite, apple juice)

4hrs: Breastmilk

6hrs: Formula, cow milk, light meal (toast without butter)

8hrs: Complete meal (pizza, hamburger, salad with dressing)

Q:  Will I be able to receive medicine for anxiety before my procedure?

A:  You will be evaluated the day of your procedure by an anesthesiologist. Typically, medications to help with pre-surgery anxiety are given once you have met your anesthesia provider, discussed the anesthetic, signed all consents and are within 30 mins of going to the operating room. This is to assure that you have an opportunity to ask all your questions and will remember the answers. If you feel you need medication sooner in the process, please let us know. a dedicated team of 5 different dentists. Each of them has a profound medical experience and degree. Also, we have a practical nurse and dental hygienists in our clinic’s team. Our staff will be more than enough to provide a timely, efficient dental care for all of our patients!

Q:  What is the likelihood of me waking up or remembering anything while under anesthesia?

A:   Your anesthetic will be tailored to your medical condition and your procedure. There are differences in general anesthesia and regional/neuraxial anesthesia. If you have general anesthesia for your procedure, you will be completely asleep. You will not be able to hear, feel or see anything after the induction of anesthesia. Neuraxial or regional anesthetic techniques are typically accompanied by sedation. Most patients take a nap and are relaxed during sedation, but we do not guarantee you cannot hear or remember events in the operating room. We make certain you are comfortable and not in pain. Some cases like trauma, open heart surgery and emergency C-section are at higher risk for awareness under general anesthesia. Although the overall risk of awareness is very low, we further mitigate this risk by using BIS monitors which help us monitor depth of anesthesia.

Q:  Last time I had anesthesia, I was very sick to my stomach in the recovery room. Can you help me with that?

A:    Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is common particularly among young females having gynecologic or breast procedures. Other high risk PONV procedures include testicular surgery, inner ear surgery and neurosurgery. Elderly patients and children are less likely to develop PONV. If you have a history of PONV this is important information to your anesthesia providers. There are ways we can improve this experience. Your anesthesia provider will discuss the options to decrease the likelihood of PONV.

Q:  Will my anesthesia provider be in the room the entire time?

A:  Your physician anesthesiologist will form the anesthetic plan and review it with you preoperatively. Your physician anesthesiologist will be in the room with you upon the induction of anesthesia and at any critical points in the case. Throughout the entire case, the nurse anesthetist will be monitoring you and carrying out the anesthetic plan. You will never be without a member of the anesthesia team.