Before your procedure, your MedStar Health anesthesiologist will review your medical chart, formulate an appropriate anesthetic plan, and explain your anesthesia options. During the procedure, your anesthesiologist will monitor you and make any necessary interventions to ensure your safety and comfort. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will work together closely and discuss any special needs you may have for postoperative care.

Types of Anesthesia

The type of anesthesia an anesthesiologist chooses differs from patient to patient, taking into account the patient's general health and the type of procedure. Four main types of anesthesia are available:

  • General: Results in a loss of consciousness and sensation.
  • Regional: An injection of local anesthetic provides numbness, loss of pain or loss of sensation to a large area of the body. This type includes techniques such as spinal blocks, epidural blocks and arm and leg blocks. Medications can also make patients comfortable, drowsy, or cause a blurred memory.
  • Monitored: Medications that supplement local anesthetic injections that are administered to make a patient drowsy and relieve pain.
  • Local: An injection that results in numbness to a small area of the body.

Bispectral Index Monitor

In addition to monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure, our anesthesiologists are able to monitor how awake or asleep you are with a technology called Bispectral Index (BIS) monitor, which allows them to provide just the right amount of anesthesia so you wake up more quickly with less chance of nausea and vomiting.