Anesthesia can be defined in several ways. What type of anesthesia you will have depends on the location and extent of your surgical procedure. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will discuss with you in length which type is appropriate for you to have. The main types are listed below:
This is the most simple type of all anesthesia. If you have ever had an injection at the dentist to numb your mouth, this is the same idea used to numb the surgical site. The numbing injection is given by your surgeon right before the surgery begins. This type of anesthesia is used in very minor surgical procedures.
Local Anesthesia with Conscious Sedation
Conscious sedation is combined with local anesthesia at times to provide a more relaxing environment. This is usually provided through medications given through your IV by a Registered Nurse, who then continues to monitor your blood pressure, pulse and heart rhythms during the course of the procedure. The medications given are designed to relax you and will wear off quickly afterwards so you don't feel sedated for a long period of time.
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
This is similar to conscious sedation but is usually given in more powerful doses by an anesthesiologist. You will be much more sleepy and relaxed during your procedure, but again, wake up quickly afterwards.
Sometimes you will hear this type of anesthesia referred to as a ˇ°nerve blockˇ± or a ˇ°spinalˇ±. This is because the anesthesia is given near a nerve which in turn blocks that entire area of the body making it numb. This is also give by and monitored by an anesthesiologist.
This type of anesthesia will relax you to the highest level ˇ°putting you to sleepˇ±. It is given by a combination of medications through your IV by an anesthesiologist who will continuously watch your blood pressure, pulse, heart rhythms and making sure your breathing is fine. With this type of deep sleep, you will not feel or hear anything during the surgical procedure. After general anesthesia the minimum time in the recovery room is usually around one hour. Please take this into account when arranging for your friends and family to pick you up.