Published: July 26, 2010
Updated: May 3, 2011
Our anesthesiologists work closely with your surgeon to choose the most appropriate type of anesthesia for your procedure. We offer general, epidural, nerve-block, and spinal anesthesia.
With general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness of the surgical procedure or other sensations.
An anesthesiologist injects medicine and usually puts a catheter in a space near the spinal cord (above it and separated by a thick membrane) to give you numbing and narcotic medication to stop pain signals from the surgery site from being perceived by your brain.
Epidural analgesia is most often used in obstetrics and orthopaedic and thoracic surgery.
An anesthesiologist injects medication near a cluster of nerves to numb only the area of your body that requires surgery.
You may remain awake or you may be given a sedative so that you are not aware of the operation being performed. Sometimes you can go home with the numbing medication being given through a special pump to keep your pain under control.
A small amount of numbing medicine is inserted into the fluid around the spinal cord (well below where the spinal cord ends) to numb the lower half of your body to allow an operation to be performed there without any sensation. Spinal anesthesia usually lasts between two and six hours.