Frequently Asked Questions About Anesthesia and Surgery
We believe that health care always works better when patients understand what to expect. We’ve provided some helpful information below, and our medical professionals will explain our procedures fully and answer all your questions.
Anesthesia is the loss of feeling or sensation with or without a loss of consciousness. In addition to keeping the patient pain-free while undergoing surgery, anesthesia controls the body’s reaction to stress and relieves the fear and anxiety that can be associated with surgery.
Many types of anesthesia are available to make you insensible to pain during a surgical procedure. When the body is anesthetized and you are unconscious, it is called a general anesthetic. This state may be produced by injecting different medications through a vein, by the inhalation of anesthesia gases, or by combinations of these. When only a portion of the body is anesthetized or made numb, the technique is known as regional anesthesia. Different types of regional anesthesia may be utilized, including local anesthetic injection, spinal, epidural, or caudal injection, and nerve blocks.
Frequently, when a regional anesthetic is used, you may also be given additional sedation so you will be relaxed and pleasantly sleepy during the operation.
An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your anesthetic. Your medical history, physical condition, and the results of laboratory and special studies will be reviewed and other factors such as your age and physical status, the requirements of the surgeon, and the type of operation you are having will be considered. Based on this information, a particular anesthetic technique or possible alternatives will be discussed with you. While the final choice is up to you, we urge you to follow the recommendations of your anesthesiologist.
If you talk with an anesthesiologist before the day of your surgery, you will be given some instructions related to your anesthetic. It is important for your safety and well-being that you follow those instructions as closely as possible.
Before your anesthetic begins, an intravenous infusion (IV) will be started and you will be connected to a number of monitoring devices. You may receive certain preoperative medications in the holding area prior to being taken to the operative room.
Your anesthetic may be administered by the anesthesiologist who interviewed you ahead of time, another physician in the group, or by a nurse anesthetist closely supervised by an LAA anesthesiologist. These individuals will be familiar with your previous evaluation and will be responsible for stabilizing your vital functions and administering appropriate medications and fluids.
When your operation or procedure is completed, you will be taken to a recovery room or an intensive care unit, where you will be closely observed and monitored by staff trained and experienced in the care of patients recovering from surgery. Anesthesiologists will be available for consultation in this area. When your condition is stable, you will be returned to your room or allowed to go home.
It is common to have some pain and discomfort after an operation. One of our goals is to try to minimize this discomfort. Current understanding and technology offer a variety of ways to help relieve your pain. When appropriate, these alternatives will be discussed with you by an anesthesiologist or your surgeon, and a plan for the management of your pain will be developed.
A member of the anesthesia staff will attempt to contact you following your anesthetic to see that you are recovering as we expect.
Our goal is to be as careful and vigilant as possible during your anesthetic and to conduct you through this period as safely and comfortably as we can.
Anesthetics may be followed by side effects. They are not common, are rarely life-threatening, and usually last only a short time. Even though we try very hard to minimize these side effects, they may occur in spite of our efforts. These side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Dry and/or sore mouth or throat: normal secretions are reduced and a tube may have been inserted to help you breathe and to protect your airway.
- Nausea and/or vomiting: can be related to many factors in addition to the anesthetic, and is more common following certain types of surgery.
- Sore jaw: if jaw support was necessary during the anesthetic.
- Short memory lapse: may occur during the recovery period as drug effects wear off.
- Headache: may occur after general or spinal anesthesia. These are usually brief in duration and can be effectively treated.
- Phlebitis: irritation of a vein by intravenous fluids or medications.
- Eye irritation: due to decreased tear formation and reduced protective fluid reflexes.
- Damage to teeth: capped, loose or false teeth or teeth in poor condition may be damaged during an anesthetic. Rarely even normal teeth may be affected during safety or protective procedures related to the anesthetic. Although we make every effort to protect your teeth, such damage is a recognized and accepted hazard of anesthesia. We cannot accept responsibility for injury to teeth, dental caps, crowns, or bridges.
Major complications following anesthesia are fortunately quite rare but may occur. These include such problems as stroke, coma, heart attack, kidney or liver failure, paralysis, organ damage, brain or nerve damage, aspiration of stomach contents, or even death.
Billing and Insurance
Because LAA is a private group practice, our services are billed separately from your hospital or surgery center. For your convenience, we accept cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express credit cards, and we also offer convenient online bill payment services.
LAA Insurance Information
Lebanon Anesthesia Associates (LAA) accepts all forms of health insurance and will submit a health claim form to the health plan provided by you or the hospital/surgery center. Once the health plan has been paid, you will be billed for any balance that your health plan applied to your deductible or co-insurance. You will also be billed if you have no insurance coverage or if your health plan deems you not eligible for benefits. It is your responsibility to settle any accounts not covered by your health plan as soon as possible.
Billing Number: (844) 788-0088