Patients undergoing surgery at the South Coast Specialty Surgery Center have a few different options for anesthesia; these include general anesthesia, local anesthesia with IV sedation (MAC), IV regional anesthesia (Bier Block), regional anesthesia (nerve block), or a combination of these options.
Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia that patients may receive will depend on a few different factors: the surgical procedure, the surgeon’s preference for the procedure, the patient’s medical condition, the anesthesiologist’s recommendation, and the patient’s preference.
General Anesthesia. Under this type of anesthesia, the patient is unconscious and cannot feel any surgical pain. General anesthesia may be used as the primary anesthetic or in conjunction with a regional anesthesia, depending on the surgeon or the patient’s preference.
Surgeons performing bariatric surgery at the South Coast Specialty Surgery Center always use ultrasound-guided TAP Block in addition to general anesthesia.
Sedation. The anesthesiologist may use IV sedation either to perform a regional block or during a surgical procedure.
Regional Anesthesia. Also known as a nerve block, regional anesthesia involves numbing a part or area of the patient’s body using a local anesthetic or numbing medicine. This is a preferred option for orthopedic surgeries involving the extremities.
- Ankle Block. Used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for foot surgeries.
- Axillary Block. Used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgeries of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow.
- Bier Block. Used for surgery of the hand, wrist, or forearm; short lasting and typically performed in the operating room.
- Femoral Nerve Block. Used in conjunction with general anesthesia for tibial osteotomies, ACL reconstruction surgery, and other painful and complex surgeries involving the knee joint.
- Infraclavicular Block. Used in conjunction with light general anesthesia or sedation for surgeries of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, and upper arm.
- Interscalene Block. Used in conjunction with light general anesthesia or sedation for surgeries of the upper arm and shoulder.
- Popliteal Block. Used in conjunction with light general anesthesia or sedation for surgery of the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
- Supraclavicular Block. Used in conjunction with light general anesthesia for surgery of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, and upper arm.
- Adductor Canal/Saphenous Nerve Block. Used in conjunction with general anesthesia for tibial osteotomies, ACL reconstruction surgery, and other painful and complex surgeries involving the knee joint.
What to Expect From General Anesthesia
As the patient arrives at the prep area, they will be greeted by members of the anesthesia care team who will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure and obtain their signature consenting to the procedure. The patient will be given some sedation through an IV prior to their transfer to the operating room (OR).
In the OR, the team will attach a few monitors to the patient’s body: a blood pressure cuff, a light sensor to measure blood oxygen levels, and EKG leads. The anesthesia care team will then ask the patient to take a few deep breaths of oxygen and place medication into the IV to start the general anesthesia. Once the patient is asleep, an airway will be placed into the back of the mouth to help move the tongue aside and ensure the patient can breathe on their own. The patient will remain under general anesthesia for the duration of the operation.
Once surgery is complete, the anesthesia care team will remove the breathing tube and shut off the anesthetic gases. As the patient breathes off the anesthetic gases, they will gradually awaken.
The Aftercare Program at the South Coast Specialty Surgery Center is directed and overseen by a team of anesthesiologists who provide pain management services and ensure patients receive the right type of pain medication and are not overly sedated or unable to perform post-surgical responsibilities.