All About Anesthesia

What Is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia is freedom from pain. Each year, millions of people in the United States undergo some form of medical treatment requiring anesthesia. Anesthesia, in the hands of qualified professionals like Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), is a safe and effective means of alleviating pain during nearly every type of medical procedure.
 
Anesthesia care is not confined to surgery alone. The process also refers to activities that take place both before and after an anesthetic is given.

Who administers anesthesia?
In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a CRNA.
 
CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist (physician anesthetist). CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses with specialized graduate-level education in anesthesiology.
 
For more than 150 years, nurse anesthetists have been administering anesthesia in all types of surgical cases, using all anesthetic techniques and practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is administered.

Will my nurse anesthetist stay with me throughout  my surgery?
Your nurse anesthetist 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.

Are there different types of anesthesia?
There are three basic types of anesthesia:
General anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body.

Regional anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body.

Local anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a small specific area of the body.
 
A preoperative interview with your anesthesia professional will determine which anesthetic is best for you.
 
Do nurse anesthetists administer pain care management?
Yes.  The most common chronic care services provided by CRNAs, such as anesthetic injections near nerves, effectively reduce a patient's need for prescription narcotics and opioids.  Chronic intractable pain afflicts more than 100 million Americans and costs the United States over $600 billion per year.  CRNAs are specifically trained and qualified to treat pain patients.  Patients referred to a CRNA for pain care can be confident that their experience will be safe and appropriate.  It may even change their quality of life for the better.

For more information, see Questions You Should Ask