Anesthesiology at Winchester Hospital
Anesthesiology is a medical specialty focused on relieving pain. It’s commonly associated with surgery. But anesthesiologists help you stay comfortable during many procedures. If you’re going into labor, having certain heart tests or undergoing a colonoscopy, for instance, our anesthesiology team may help provide your care. We’re ready to serve you whenever you need us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our team includes board-certified physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). We’re highly skilled and dedicated to your safety as well as your comfort. During your procedure, we monitor your vital functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing. We help make your procedure as easy on you as possible.
Regional anesthesia numbs a specific area of your body. The anesthesia is given by injection near a nerve or group of nerves. Doctors also may give you medication by IV to make you sleepy.
Spinal and epidural anesthesia is injected into your back. It numbs you from the waist down and prevents you from moving your legs. The effects last about four hours.
Nerve blocks are also injected near nerves. They prevent you from feeling pain in the part of the body you’re having surgery on. However, they can provide long-lasting pain relief.
Local anesthesia may be all you need for a minor procedure. It numbs a certain area of your body. Usually, it involves a one-time injection.
Monitored anesthesia care is also known as conscious sedation. You receive medicine by IV that calms you and makes you groggy, but you usually remain awake. As a result, you can follow commands as needed. The anesthesiology team monitors your vital signs closely during your procedure to keep your condition stable.
Working with Your Anesthesiologist
Before your procedure, our anesthesiology team meets with you. Sometimes, depending on the surgery you’re having, they may meet with you in the days leading up to your operation as well.
The goal is to learn about your medical history and lifestyle. They also review any medical tests you’ve had. This helps them provide you with the safest care.
Be sure to tell your anesthesiologist about:
- Allergies. Include details about food and drug allergies.
- Herbal supplement use. Some herbal products can affect blood pressure, heart rate and bleeding. This may impact your surgery. When possible, it’s best to stop taking herbal supplements two to three weeks before surgery.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medication use. Certain medicines can interfere with muscle relaxants anesthesiologists use or affect your surgery in other ways.
- Street drugs (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, etc.). Like other drugs, street drugs may change the way anesthesia affects you. Any conversations you have about drug use with your doctor remain private.
- Your alcohol use and smoking history. Smoking and alcohol may affect your blood and vital organs. They also can change the way anesthesia works during surgery. Make sure you include details about past and recent use.
After Your Procedure
After a surgical procedure, you won’t be allowed to drive yourself home. You must have a responsible adult provide your transportation. You cannot take a bus or taxi. It may take 24 hours for your anesthesia to wear off, so you’ll need to have an adult stay with you during that time.