Frequently Asked Questions - Georgia Anesthesiologists, LLC (2023)

1. What is the normal recovery time for a general anesthetic?

Answer:Most people are awake in the recovery room immediately after an operation but remain groggy for a few hours afterward. Your body will take up to a week to completely eliminate the medicines from your system but most people will not notice much effect after about 24 hours. For this reason, we ask you to refrain from making important decisions or from driving a car for 24 hours after your surgery. In those with significant medical problems, complex or long surgeries or advanced age, the time for wake up may be longer.

2.Is there an age where it is no longer safe to have anesthesia?

Answer:No. Anesthesia can be performed safely in any age group. We are more concerned with chronic medical conditions and overall health than with actual age. Some people are quite healthy and active into their 90's while some are significantly limited by medical conditions at a much earlier age. Please make sure your anesthesia provider is aware of your chronic medical problems prior to your operation.

3. Will I wake up during my operation?

Answer: No. Although this is a real problem and it has received a great deal of attention in the popular press, fortunately for us it is very uncommon in our practice. As I will explain in the next question, your anesthetic will not "run out" if your surgery lasts longer than anticipated. All of the doctors at Georgia Anesthesiologists are concerned about preventing awareness during an operation and we have additional monitoring available that may help ensure that you are fully anesthetized. If you have special concerns, be sure to mention them to your anesthesiologist.

4. How do you put me to sleep?

Answer:Most anesthesiologists use a combination of medicines to put you to sleep. These medicines last a short period of time (about 20 minutes). Once the patient is asleep, we place a breathing device to maintain control of breathing. To keep patients asleep, we use anesthesia gas. When the operation is over, we shut off the anesthetic and let the patient wake up. The advantage of using this complicated system is that your anesthetic can be easily tailored to be as long or as short as it needs to be.

(Video) 73 Questions with an Anesthesiology Resident | ND MD

5. Why can't I eat or drink before my operation?

Answer:This is a problem that is unique to anesthesia. While you are asleep, you may regurgitate the contents of your stomach into your mouth and throat. While you are sedated, your body looses the ability to protect its own airway and cough these secretions out. Therefore,the contents of your stomach can be vomited and then aspirated (sucked) into your lungs. This can cause a severe lung injury requiring prolonged hospitalization, a mechanical ventilator, a difficult infection and even in advanced cases death. For this reason, we ask you to have nothing at all by mouth for at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery. We take this very seriously. If you are in violation of this policy, your surgery will be postponed or canceled.

6. What can you do to prevent nausea after the operation?

Answer:Depending upon any allergies, each patient is treated for the prevention of post operative nausea and vomiting.Although we do our best to prevent this from occurring, there is still the chance that you may have some mild discomfort for a brief period of time.

7. Will I remember the surgery?

Answer:The short answer is NO.The long answer is that you may remember the period just before going to sleep and the period when waking up while on the operating room table.However, most patients will not be fully aware of their surroundings until they are in the recovery room.

(Video) 73 Questions with a Pediatric Anesthesiologist | ND MD

8. Will there be someone in the room with me throughout the surgery?

Answer: There will be either an Anesthesiologist (“M.D. or D.O.”) or an Anesthesiologist Assistant (“AA”) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (“CRNA”) with you at all times. Their job will be to monitor a variety of vital signs, manage your depth of anesthesia and treat any problems that may arise during the surgery.There is always a team comprised of an Anesthesiologist and an Anesthetist available for any emergencies should that occur during your surgery.

9. Are there different kinds of anesthesia?

Answer: There are three main categories of anesthesia: local, regional, and general. Each has many forms and uses.

In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of your body requiring minor surgery, for example, on the hand or foot.

(Video) 73 Questions with a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant

In regional anesthesia, your anesthesiologist makes an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or you may be given a sedative. You do not see or feel the actual surgery take place. There are several kinds of regional anesthesia. Two of the most frequently used are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, which are produced by injections made with great exactness in the appropriate areas of the back. They are frequently preferred for childbirth and prostate surgery.

In general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness or other sensations. There are a number of general anesthetic drugs. Some are gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and others are medications introduced through a vein. During anesthesia, you are carefully monitored, controlled and treated by your anesthesiologist, who uses sophisticated equipment to track all your major bodily functions. A breathing tube may be inserted through your mouth and frequently into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during this period. The length and level of anesthesia is calculated and constantly adjusted with great precision. At the conclusion of surgery, your anesthesiologist will reverse the process and you will regain awareness in the recovery room.

10.How is the epidural block performed for labor and delivery?

Answer: An epidural block is given in the lower back. You will either be sitting up or lying on your side. The block is administered below the level of the spinal cord. The anesthesiologist will use a local anesthesia to numb an area of your lower back. A special needle is placed in the epidural space just outside the spinal sac.

(Video) REAL ANESTHESIOLOGIST discusses the RISK of DYING Under General Anesthesia

11.Will I receive a separate bill from the anesthesiologist’s office?

Answer: Yes.In addition to the surgeon’s bill and the hospital’s bill, you will receive a separate bill for the services provided by your anesthesiologist.If you are a “self-pay” patient (i.e. you have no insurance or your insurance will not cover your elective procedure), please contact our office in advance of your procedure to make the necessary payment arrangements.Our courteous and professional staff will estimate your charges for you, which you are required to pay in advance of your procedure.Any balance due will be billed to you following the surgery.If for some reason the procedure is shorter than expected, you may be due a refund, which we will remit to you as soon as possible.If payment is not received prior to surgery, your surgery may be cancelled or postponed.

12.Do you accept various forms of payment?

Answer: Yes, we participate with most insurance companies.Any amount due from the patient can be paid by cash, check, or charge card.For convenience of our patients, we now have online bill pay capabilities on our website.We understand that because of financial hardship, some patients simply cannot afford full payment of their anesthesia fees at one time.Therefore, in cases of financial hardship, for amounts in excess of $250, we can also arrange for patient payment plans.Payment plans must be arranged and approved in advance of the patient’s procedure.


What is the biggest challenge of being an anesthesiologist? ›

“The main stress is the life of the patient is in your hands,” said Mary Dale Peterson, MD, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. “And we give extremely powerful drugs. You can give a drug that can kill someone in two to three minutes if it is not managed correctly.

What questions should you ask your anesthesiologist? ›

Three questions to ask
  • What kind of anesthesia will I get? Many patients do not know that there are different types of anesthesia. ...
  • How will I feel when I wake up? ...
  • What will you do to make sure I don't wake up feeling queasy?
Oct 12, 2017

How long does it take anesthesia to leave your body after an operation? ›

Anesthetic drugs can stay in your system for up to 24 hours. If you've had sedation or regional or general anesthesia, you shouldn't return to work or drive until the drugs have left your body. After local anesthesia, you should be able to resume normal activities, as long as your healthcare provider says it's okay.

What are the 5 A's of anesthesia? ›

Abstract. After an adverse event, Five A's: Acknowledgment, Apology, All the Facts, Assurance and Appropriate Compensation, serve to meet the essential needs of patients and their families.

What are the 4 pillars of anesthesia? ›

analgesia. muscle relaxation. diminished motor response to noxious stimuli. reversibility.

What is hard about anesthesiology? ›

The most challenging and rewarding aspects of anesthesiology: A difficult part of our profession is that you do not know if a patient is genuinely healthy and will proceed with their surgery uneventfully until they leave the hospital. An anesthesiologist must maintain a constant state of hypervigilance.

What is a fun fact about an anesthesiologist? ›

Three-fourths of anesthesiologists are male, according to a report, and 83 percent are board certified. Twenty-three percent of anesthesiologists have worked on a locum tenens basis and 25 percent have spent five years or less in clinical practice.

What qualities make a good anesthesiologist? ›

To be successful in anesthesiology, it goes without saying that you must excel academically, but also an anesthesiologist has to be incredibly detailed-oriented, skillful at procedures, calm in stressful situations, and warm and caring to ease patient's anxiety.

How do you thank a anesthesiologist? ›

Thank you so much for the difference you make in the lives of your patients! Your kindness, sincere caring, and concern make everything better and are a great encouragement.” “Thank you so very much for taking care of me and being so skilled at what you do. Every day of my life will be better because of you.

What three questions must you always ask a patient prior to surgery? ›

Knowing what to expect and which questions to ask before your procedure can help minimize your fears and ensure you have a positive experience.
  • Why Do I Need This Procedure? ...
  • What Outcome Can I Expect? ...
  • What Are the Risks of This Surgery?
Nov 18, 2018

Do anesthesiologists talk to patients? ›

Before the procedure, your anesthesiologist will talk with you and establish an anesthetic plan in coordination with your surgeon. At this time, your anesthesiologist will also ensure you are ready for the operation. The first priority is getting the patient safely through the procedure.

How does the anesthesiologist wake you up after surgery? ›

The process of waking up from anesthesia is known as emergence. During emergence, the anesthesiologist will slowly reduce the amount of anesthetic drugs in the body. This helps to reduce the intensity of the effects of anesthesia and allows the patient to regain consciousness.

How do they wake you up from anesthesia? ›

Long recovery

Currently, there are no drugs to bring people out of anesthesia. When surgeons finish an operation, the anesthesiologist turns off the drugs that put the patient under and waits for them to wake up and regain the ability to breathe on their own.

What are the reasons for not waking up after anesthesia? ›

In most cases, a delayed awakening from anesthesia can be attributed to the residual action of one or more anesthetic agents and adjuvants used in the peri-operative period. The list of potentially implicated drugs includes benzodiazepines (BDZs), propofol, opioids, NMBAs, and adjuvants.

What are the anesthesia codes? ›

Anesthesia CPT Code Ranges
Area of the BodyRange
Spine and Spinal Cord00600-00670
Upper Abdomen00700-00797
Lower Abdomen00800-00882
15 more rows

What are the 2 types of anesthesia? ›

What Are the Different Types of Anesthesia?
  • General anesthesia: A patient who gets general anesthesia is completely unconscious (or "asleep"). ...
  • Regional anesthesia: This type of anesthesia is injected near a cluster of nerves in the spine.

What are the 3 phases of anaesthesia recovery? ›

The recovery from major surgery can be divided into three phases: (1) an immediate, or post anesthetic, phase; (2) an intermediate phase, encompassing the hospitalization period; and (3) a convalescent phase.

What are the most commonly used anesthesia terms? ›

There are four main categories of anesthesia used during surgery and other procedures: general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, sedation (sometimes called "monitored anesthesia care"), and local anesthesia.

What are the three phases of surgery? ›

It is subdivided into three stages: preoperative, operative and postoperative.

What is the lowest paid anesthesiologist? ›

How Much Does an Anesthesiologist Make? Anesthesiologists made a median salary of $208,000 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $208,000.

What challenges do anesthesiologist face? ›

Summary: The consultant anesthesiologist responding to a critical airway may face a variety of challenges, including traumatized or soiled airways, patients with cervical spine fractures, and patients who have undergone sedation techniques that may have progressed to deep and general anesthesia.

What are the disadvantages of being an anesthesiologist? ›

The disadvantages of being an anesthesiologist might include:
  • Extended studies and training. It takes at least eight to 12 years to become an anesthesiologist. ...
  • Pressure to succeed. ...
  • Scheduling challenges. ...
  • Lack of appreciation. ...
  • Reduced bargaining power. ...
  • Potential stress.
Nov 9, 2021

How happy are anesthesiologists? ›

Yes, anesthesiologists are happy.

A survey of 1,219 anesthesiologists found that 81% of them were satisfied with their profession. A different recent survey conducted on the happiness of anesthesiologists found that 85% of people in the profession would choose the same work again if they had a choice.

What is it called when anesthesia doesn't work? ›

Anesthesia awareness, which is also referred to as unintended awareness under general anesthesia, is a rare complication of surgery.

What was the first anesthesia? ›

First Surgical Procedure Using Anesthesia

On October 16, 1846, Boston dentist William T.G. Morton used sulfuric ether to anesthetize a man who needed surgery to remove a vascular tumor from his neck, according to “The Painful Story Behind Modern Anesthesia” by Dr. Howard Markel on

What type of anesthesiologist makes the most money? ›

The highest-paid anesthesiologist is an obstetric anesthesiologist. Obstetric anesthesia is the highest-paid anesthesiology subspecialty with an average annual salary range from $217,000 to $582,000 a year.

Which of the following is the most important skill of an anesthesiologist? ›

The most critical technical skill for an anesthesiologist is . . . facemask ventilation. Why? All acute medical care follows the sequence of A-B-C, or Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Control of the airway is the most important clinical priority in anesthesia care.

What are work values of an anesthesiologist? ›

Anesthesiologists typically have the following work values: Consider achievement important. They like to see the results of their work and to use their strongest abilities. They like to get a feeling of accomplishment from their work.

Are anesthesiologists respected? ›

Anesthesiology is a respected field of medicine. With that comes a significant amount of responsibility and training.

Does the anesthesiologist talk to you before surgery? ›

Before the procedure

Before you have anesthesia, your anesthesiologist will talk with you and may ask questions about: Your health history. Your prescription medicines, along with any nonprescription medicines and herbal supplements.

What are the five steps to safer surgery? ›

Five Steps to Safer Surgery is a surgical safety checklist. It involves briefing, sign-in, timeout, sign-out and debriefing, and is now advocated by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) for all patients in England and Wales undergoing surgical procedures.

What are important questions to ask a patient? ›

5 Critical Questions to Ask Every Patient
  • What Are Your Medical and Surgical Histories? ...
  • What Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications Do You Take? ...
  • What Allergies Do You Have? ...
  • What is Your Smoking, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use History? ...
  • Have You Served in the Armed Forces?
Jun 13, 2015

What should be the last meal before surgery? ›

Be sure to eat a light meal as the last thing you consume prior to surgery. Soup is a great option, while a heavy meal with a lot of fat will take longer for your body to digest.

Do anesthesiologists make mistakes? ›

If an anesthesiologist fails to meet the standard of care, which involves providing the level of care that a physician in the same field would provide, they can be found negligent. Some of the most common anesthesia errors that cause harm include the following: Administering too much or too little anesthesia.

What do surgeons think of anesthesiologists? ›

Patients and Surgeons Prefer Anesthesiologist Care

The majority of surgeons and patients think anesthesiologists are the most important guardians of patient safety during surgery.

Do anesthesiologists sit during surgery? ›

Then, the anesthesiologist will give you medicine that makes you sleep and prevents pain. You'll get this medicine through a vein, a mask, or both. If you have general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will stay with you during the whole surgery.

What is happy juice before surgery? ›

Will my child be wide awake when you start the anesthesia? In most cases, we give children an oral anti-anxiety medication before we begin. Our nurses call it "happy juice," and it makes the child more relaxed and comfortable.

Why do they tape your eyes shut during surgery? ›

Small pieces of sticking tape are commonly used to keep the eyelids fully closed during the anaesthetic. This has been shown to reduce the chance of a corneal abrasion occurring. 1,2 However, bruising of the eyelid can occur when the tape is removed, especially if you have thin skin and bruise easily.

Are you asleep with propofol? ›

Propofol is used to put you to sleep and keep you asleep during general anesthesia for surgery or other medical procedures. It is used in adults as well as children 2 months and older. Propofol is also used to sedate a patient who is under critical care and needs a mechanical ventilator (breathing machine).

Does anesthesia make you say secrets? ›

Anesthesia won't make you confess your deepest secrets

It's normal to feel relaxed while receiving anesthesia, but most people don't say anything unusual. Rest assured, even if you do say something you wouldn't normally say while you are under sedation, Dr. Meisinger says, “it's always kept within the operating room.

Is anesthesia sleep restful? ›

Although doctors often say that you'll be asleep during surgery, research has shown that going under anesthesia is nothing like sleep. “Even in the deepest stages of sleep, with prodding and poking we can wake you up,” says Brown.

Why do I cry when I wake up from anesthesia? ›

“There is a medication called Sevoflurane, which is a gas that we use commonly to keep patients asleep there's some increased incidence of crying when that medication is used,” said Heitz. But he suspects many factors could be involved; the stress of surgery, combined with medications and feeling slightly disoriented.

Why do people act weird when waking up from anesthesia? ›

If you're wondering what's going on, it's called disinhibition: a temporary loss of inhibitions caused by an outside stimuli. “They get disinhibition,” said anesthesiologist Dr. Josh Ferguson. “Like if you were to drink alcohol or some other medication, but this makes them forget that they're saying that.”

Can you control what you say when you're on anesthesia? ›

Rest assured, even if you do say something you wouldn't normally say while you are under sedation, Dr. Meisinger says, “it's always kept within the operating room.

How long does it take to wake up from full anesthesia? ›

Waking up from anesthesia can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the type of anesthesia used and the individual's response to it. Generally, most people wake up within 30 minutes of the anesthesia being administered.

What kind of anesthesia puts you to sleep? ›

General anesthesia, used for major operations, causes loss of consciousness or puts you to sleep and makes you unable to move. Sedation, often used for minimally invasive surgery, blocks pain and causes sleepiness, but doesn't put you to sleep.

What is the most common anesthesia for surgery? ›

While there are many types and levels of anesthesia — medication to keep you from feeling pain during surgery — general anesthesia is most commonly used for major operations, such as knee and hip replacements, heart surgeries, and many types of surgical procedures to treat cancer.

What kind of anesthesia keeps you awake? ›

Local anesthesia is for procedures such as getting stitches or having a mole removed. It numbs a small area, and you are alert and awake.

What is the safest anesthesia for surgery? ›

The safest type of anesthesia is local anesthesia, an injection of medication that numbs a small area of the body where the procedure is being performed. Rarely, a patient will experience pain or itching where the medication was injected.

Do you say weird things after anesthesia? ›

Anesthesia won't make you confess your deepest secrets

It's normal to feel relaxed while receiving anesthesia, but most people don't say anything unusual. Rest assured, even if you do say something you wouldn't normally say while you are under sedation, Dr.

Which injection is used to calm patients? ›

Midazolam injection is used to produce sleepiness or drowsiness and relieve anxiety before surgery or certain procedures. When midazolam is used before surgery, the patient will not remember some of the details about the procedure.

What anesthesia is used for colonoscopy? ›

Most often, either moderate sedation or deep sedation with the anesthetic propofol are used for colonoscopies. An anesthesiologist is sometimes present for moderate sedation — sometimes called conscious sedation by patients, though the term is technically incorrect.

What type of anesthesia does not require intubation? ›

Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) – When possible, the anesthesiologist will use a Laryngeal Mask Airway device instead of intubation because it is quicker and causes less discomfort for the patient. An LMA is a tube with an inflatable cuff that is inserted into the pharynx (the upper part of the windpipe).

Are you intubated during colonoscopy? ›

Unless there is evidence of severe reflux, impaired stomach emptying, or bowel obstruction, intubation is rarely necessary and carries its own risks.

Do you get restful sleep under anesthesia? ›

A person who falls into natural sleep doesn't require constant monitoring or observation. A patient under anesthesia, like an intensive care unit patient in a coma, may appear peaceful and relaxed, but anesthetic drugs don't produce natural sleep and may cause breathing to stop or have other serious side effects.

What is the most serious complication of anesthesia? ›

Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)

While most healthy patients tolerate this transient hypotension, there are reports of cardiac arrest occurring following the placement of spinal or epidural anesthetics. Extra care must be taken in patients receiving neuraxial anesthesia that have a cardiac history.

What is considered a long surgery? ›

Long format surgery may take 6-12 hours, is it safe to be “under” for this long? Sometimes it is recommended to undertake several plastic surgery procedures during one session. This is known as a long format surgery, which may take anywhere from 6-12 hours in duration.

Does anxiety affect anesthesia? ›

Anxiety is particularly important, because it has the potential to affect all aspects of anesthesia such as preoperative visit, induction, perioperative, and recovery periods [2, 3].


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