When you are due to undergo an operation or some other procedure that requires anesthesia, you will usually meet the anesthesiologist already before you come to the surgical unit. Fear of general anesthesia is still quite common. We can, however, assure you that general anesthesia is nowadays a simple and safe procedure.
Before the operation, you will be given an opportunity to discuss any underlying diseases and medications, as well as your previous experiences of anesthesia or other forms of pain relief, with the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist selects the most suitable form of pain relief, based on your general condition as well as your previous experiences and wishes.
General anesthesia is suitable for almost any procedure. Regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural anaesthesia) is suitable for surgery in the pelvis and lower limbs. Nerve block anesthesia can be used for surgery in the upper limbs, for instance. Intravenous sedatives and painkillers in combination with local anesthesia are suitable for procedures which only affect small areas of the body, such as cataract surgery or keyhole surgery in the knee.
The main responsibility for the patient lies with the surgeon who performs the operation. The anesthesiologist cooperates with the surgeon and is responsible for the following:
- Assessing the patient’s physical condition prior to the operation, and selecting the most suitable form of anesthesia
- Performing the anesthesia in cooperation with an anesthesia nurse. During the anesthesia, the patient’s condition is monitored by experienced anesthesiologists and anesthesia nurses. We use state-of-the-art patient monitoring equipment.
- Monitoring the patient and managing any problems during the anesthesia
- Fluid therapy and any necessary blood transfusions
- Monitoring the patient after the operation together with a recovery room nurse
- Pain relief and safe discharge after the operation.