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Anesthesia Services

At Northern Inyo Healthcare District members of the anesthesia team are available around the clock to provide medical expertise and pain relief for patients undergoing surgery as well as women in labor who need epidural pain management.

If you’re preparing for surgery, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to the education, training and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. But you may not have thought much about the anesthesia provider or the importance of his or her medical expertise in your procedure — before, during and after — to keep you safe and comfortable.

Anesthesiologists (physicians) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are trained in the anesthesia care and pain management. They meet with you and your surgeon before surgery to assess your health and make decisions to ensure your anesthesia care is as safe and effective as possible. They monitor your vital signs during surgery, including how well your heart and lungs are working while you’re unconscious, and they take care of you after surgery to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible while you recover.

The anesthesia providers (Anesthesiologists and CRNAs) evaluate, monitor and supervise patient care before, during and after surgery, delivering anesthesia, and ensuring optimal patient safety.

What types of anesthesia can be provided?

  • General Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia is provided through an anesthesia mask or IV and makes you lose consciousness. It is used for major operations, such as a knee replacement or gall bladder removal.
  • Monitored Anesthesia or IV Sedation: IV sedation causes you to feel relaxed and can result in various levels of consciousness. Depending on the procedure, the level of sedation may range from minimal (making you drowsy but able to talk) to deep (meaning you won’t remember the procedure). This type of anesthesia often is used for minimally invasive procedures such as colonoscopies or cataract surgeries. IV sedation is sometimes combined with local or regional anesthesia.
  • Regional Anesthesia: Pain medication to numb a large part of the body, such as from the waist down, is given through an injection or through a small tube called a catheter. You may be awake or given IV sedation in addition to the regional but unable to feel the area that is numbed. This type of anesthesia, including spinal blocks and epidurals, often is used during childbirth and for surgeries of the arm, leg or abdomen.
  • Local Anesthetic: This is an injection that numbs a small area of the body where the procedure is being performed. You may be awake or given IV sedation in addition to the local anesthesia but feel no pain in the area where the local anesthesia is administered. This is often used for procedures such as removing a mole or stitching a deep cut.

About Surgery and Anesthesia

Before Surgery: Your anesthesia provider will be sure you are fit for surgery and prepare you for the procedure by asking detailed questions about your health, examining you and reviewing tests and your medication list. Be sure to let your anesthesia provider know about any medical problems you have, such as heart disease, diabetes or asthma, and whether you’ve had problems or concerns with anesthesia in the past. Use this time to ask questions. Understanding your care will make you feel more comfortable and confident as you prepare for surgery. Your anesthesia provider will create an anesthesia plan developed specifically for you to ensure a safe and successful procedure.

During Surgery: The anesthesia provider manages your pain control and closely monitors your anesthesia and vital body functions during the procedure.

After Surgery: In the recovery room, the anesthesia provider supervises others who will care for you and monitor your recovery — your breathing, circulation, consciousness and level of oxygen — and is immediately available if there are questions or concerns. Your anesthesia provider and your surgeon decide when you have recovered from the effects of anesthesia and are ready to go home or be moved to a regular room in the hospital.