FAQS Anesthesia

All of our anesthesiologists routinely take care of critically ill patients at Dominican Hospital; thus have the skills necessary in the unlikely event of any complications during your time at Santa Cruz Surgery Center. We are proud at Santa Cruz Surgery Center to be the only ambulatory facility to offer this additional level of expertise for our patients.

Special anesthetic agents and anesthetic techniques are chosen to allow you to go home as soon as possible after your surgery. There are four main types of anesthesia:

General Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, the patient is unconscious and has no sensation or recollection of the surgical procedure.

Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia means that local anesthetic is injected by the anesthesiologist to provide loss of sensation to a large region of the body. This might include epidural anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, upper and lower blocks, and intravenous regional blocks. Additional intravenous medication may be given to make you comfortable and drowsy.

Monitored Anesthetic Care

Under this type of anesthetic care, your surgeon usually injects local anesthetic to the surgical site to provide loss of sensation. Your anesthesiologist supplements this with intravenous medication to make you comfortable. Your anesthesiologist will monitor you as closely as he would if you were under general anesthesia.

Local Anesthesia

Your surgeon will inject you with local anesthetic to provide loss of sensation to a small area. It is unnecessary to have an anesthesiologist with you during local anesthesia.

Preoperative Interview

Your anesthesiologist will interview you prior to your surgical procedure. This usually takes place on the day of surgery, but some interviews will be held before the day of surgery. Your anesthesiologist will ask questions about your medical history and review any laboratory tests that have been done. Your anesthesiologist will then form a plan to best fit your needs. Your anesthesiologist will discuss any risks and benefits, so your anesthetic plan will be tailored specifically for you. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns at this time.

During Surgery

Your anesthesiologist is uniquely qualified for directing your anesthetic care during your surgical procedure. Anesthesiologists are medical specialists who ensure your comfort and make informed medical decisions to protect you. Your physical status will be closely monitored, and vital functions such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and breathing will be closely managed.

Recovery After Surgery

After your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. Your anesthesiologist will monitor any medications to ensure your safe recovery. Your vital functions will be closely monitored by our highly trained nurses. When you are ready, you will be offered something to drink, and your family member or friend may be allowed to be with you. Most patients are ready to go home between 1-4 hours after surgery. You will be given oral and written instructions regarding your care at home.

During the first 24 hours after surgery:

  • Do not drink alcohol or use nonprescription medication
  • Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery
  • Do not make important decisions
  • You may not be left alone that first day

You may experience drowsiness or minor side effects such as muscle aches, sore throat, headaches and mild nausea after your surgery. These decline rapidly in the hours following surgery, but you may not feel up to your usual activities the next day. Plan to take it easy for a few days. The following day you will be contacted to see how you feel and if there are any problems.