During Your Surgery

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The anesthesiologist will be in the operating room while the anesthesia is administered to you. A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) may work with the anesthesiologist during your surgery to administer the anesthesia and may monitor your condition during surgery. However, the CRNA is always under the supervision of the anesthesiologist who will be present during any part of the surgery requiring greater training and experience. The anesthesiologist will assume control in the event of an emergency.

Anesthesia Drugs:
The drugs used for anesthesia continue to improve with each passing year. The newer drugs have fewer side effects and complications; however, you need to inform your anesthesiologist of any previous negative experiences during surgery. The anesthesiologist must know this information in order to administer the proper drugs in the proper dosage.

Breathing Tubes:
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During your surgery you will probably not need any breathing device other than an oxygen mask, if you are having local or regional anesthesia, or sedation. General anesthesia decreases your ability to breathe on your own, and anesthesiologists have several ways to assist your breathing. These breathing aids include the use of an endotracheal (breathing) tube and a laryngeal mask airway (LMA).

If you need an endotracheal tube, it will be placed into your "wind-pipe" by passing it through the vocal cords using a laryngoscope. The endotracheal tube will be removed as soon as you are able to safely breathe without on your own.

Dental Work & Teeth:
You will probably not be aware of the placement or removal of the endotracheal tube. If you need an endotracheal tube, your anesthesiologist will take every precaution to avoid any complications during the placement and removal of it.
  • The two main risks of an endotracheal tube are:
    • Potential damage to teeth or dental work.
    • Sore throat:

During your preoperative evaluation, please inform your anesthesiologist of any special dental work (false teeth, bridges, etc.) or if you have experienced any problems with a breathing tube during prior surgeries.

Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA):
As an alternative, your anesthesiologist may use a Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) instead of an endotracheal tube. The LMA is an effective method of assisting your breathing with a decreased likelihood of a sore throat. The LMA is frequently used for short day surgery cases.

Wake-up During Surgery?
You are not likely to wake up during surgery, but if you did, you will probably not feel any pain or even remember being awake. Anesthesiologists are specially trained to administer the proper amount of anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery.

Anesthesia Machines:
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Anesthesia machines are used by anesthesia providers to deliver the safest of anesthetics to you during your surgery. The machine has vital controls for the flow of oxygen, air, nitrous oxide, and anesthetics.
A breathing machine (ventilator), oxygen analyzer, and scavenger system are also components of anesthesia machines. Sensors that are attached to your body before surgery are connected to the anesthesia machine to monitor your vital signs during surgery. The machine and the monitors allow your anesthesiologist to closely monitor your body during the surgery.

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