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The Joint Commission


Information on Anesthesia

Anesthesia services may be needed so that you are comfortable during your operation or procedure. The type of anesthesia to be used will be chosen by your anesthesiologist after talking with you about which options are appropriate for you. You will have an opportunity to speak to your anesthesiologist before surgery, so please write down any questions you may have:

Type   Expected Results   Risks   
General Anesthesia Total state of unconsciousness. The drug is injected into the blood stream and breathed into the lungs. A breathing tube may be placed in the windpipe. Mouth or throat pain, hoarseness, injury to mouth or teeth, awareness under anesthesia, breathing in of stomach contents.
Spinal or Epidural Analgesia/Anesthesia Temporary decrease or loss of feeling and/or movement to lower part of the body. A drug is injected through a needle/catheter placed either directly into the spinal canal or immediately outside the canal. Medication may also be given to relax you. Headache, back or leg pain, infection, persistent weakness or numbness.
Major/Minor Nerve Block Temporary loss of feeling and/or movement of a specific limb or area. Drugs are injected near nerves providing numbness to the area of the operation. Infection, convulsions, weakness, persistent numbness, injury to blood vessels
Intravenous Regional Anesthesia Temporary loss of feeling and/or movement of a limb. Drugs are injected into veins of the arm or leg while using a tourniquet. Infection, convulsions, weakness, persistent numbness, injury to blood vessels.
Monitored Anesthesia Care Reduced anxiety and partial or total amnesia. Drugs are injected into the blood stream and breathed into lungs producing a semi-conscious state. An unconscious state, depressed breathing.



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