Anesthesiology

Anesthesia care

Anesthesia is exceptional care, interventions and medications given during your surgery to keep you comfortable. It is given by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) that stays with you for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important function of your body and individually modifying your anesthetic to ensure your maximum safety and comfort. A CRNA is a advanced practice nurse with specialized graduate- or doctoral-level education in anesthesiology.

What your nurse anesthetist should know

You will meet with your CRNA before your surgery or procedure to discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used. The preoperative interview with your anesthesia professional is key in the selection of the best anesthetic for you. In order for your nurse anesthetist to determine which type of anesthesia is the best for you, it is important that you inform your nurse anesthetist about:

  • Food and drink intake during the last 24 hours
  • History of difficulty breathing after anesthesia
  • History of lower back problems
  • Family history of high fevers
  • Respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, or if you have a cold, sore throat or the flu
  • Special medical concerns, such as cardiac disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and other medical conditions

There are several choices of anesthetics available for you, including:

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is a type of anesthesia administered by giving anesthetic drugs intravenously and having you breathe anesthetic gases. With general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious during the operation and have no feelings of pain, awareness or movement. General anesthesia is useful for a wide variety of surgical procedures. With general anesthesia, you will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure.

Spinal anesthesia 

Spinal anesthesia is a type of anesthetic administered through a needle temporarily placed in your lower back. Local anesthetic is delivered through this needle, which will cause you to temporarily lose all sensation from the waist down, including the ability to move your legs. With spinal anesthesia, you will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure. During your recovery from the spinal anesthetic, you may feel numb and need assistance in moving. Sensation and movement will return gradually over a short period of time following the procedure.

Epidural anesthesia

Epidural anesthesia is a type of local anesthetic delivered through a tiny tube called a catheter, which is placed just outside the spinal canal at the small of the back. The epidural catheter allows for a continuous infusion of medication to keep you comfortable during and after your procedure. With epidural anesthesia, you will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure. The effects are similar to the spinal anesthesia.

Labor epidural anesthesia

Labor epidural anesthesia is a type of local anesthetic delivered through a tiny tube called a catheter, which is placed just outside the spinal canal at the small of the back. The epidural catheter allows for a continuous infusion of medication to keep you comfortable throughout your labor and delivery. An advantage of the labor epidural is that it allows most women to fully participate in the birth experience (continue to feel touch and pressure) while relieving most, if not all, of the pains of labor. In most cases, the nurse anesthetist will start the epidural when cervical dilation is four to five centimeters. Under certain circumstances, it may be more desirable to place the epidural earlier. With epidural anesthesia, you will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following the placement of an epidural. The effects are similar to the spinal anesthesia.

Local anesthesia

Local anesthesia is a type of anesthetic that involves the use of local anesthetics injected directly into the tissue at the surgical site. It frequently is used for minor procedures to make you more comfortable for the procedure and for the placement of sutures if you need them. You will be closely monitored and attended to throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure.

MAC (monitored anesthesia care)

MAC anesthesia is a type of anesthetic that will allow you to be awake throughout the procedure, although you may feel very relaxed and sleepy. You may receive IV (intravenous) sedation prior to and throughout the surgery as needed. Local anesthesia also may be injected into the tissue directly at the surgery site. With MAC anesthesia, you will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure.

Bier block (IV block)

A bier block is a type of anesthetic used for certain procedures involving an arm or leg. Using a special tourniquet, the nurse anesthetist will inject a local anesthetic into your bloodstream, which will cause temporary numbness and pain relief in the specific surgical extremity. You are awake, but you may be given a medicine called a sedative to make you feel sleepy and less anxious. You will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following your surgical procedure.

Regional block

Regional blocks (nerve blocks) are a type of anesthetic given to temporarily numb a group of nerves, such as the shoulder, arm, hand, leg or foot. You will receive an injection in a specific area near the surgical site by a nurse anesthetist so you no longer feel the sensation of pain. You are awake, but you may be given a medicine called a sedative to make you feel sleepy and less anxious. This type of block can help to control pain after surgery. You will be closely monitored and attended to by a nurse anesthetist throughout and immediately following the placement of the regional block.

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Hospital and Clinic
1501 Thompson St.
Bloomer, WI 54724