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Anesthesia for Surgery

Anesthesia is a very important part of the surgical experience. At Sibley Memorial Hospital, anesthesia services are provided by board-certified anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists. The Department of Anesthesiology assigns an anesthesia provider to each patient scheduled for surgery. You may request a specific anesthesiologist by speaking with your surgeon or by calling the Anesthesia Office at 202-537-4141 several days prior to your surgery.

Prior to your admission, you will be asked to complete a nursing interview. This will enable our anesthesiologists to provide appropriate services. The anesthesiologist will determine the type of anesthesia after consulting with you and your surgeon. Your anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia and remain with you throughout the procedure until you are in the recovery room.

Before surgery, we will discuss the anesthetic procedure with you. This interview will help you understand the anesthetic process and will help in planning the appropriate anesthetic. It is essential that you cooperate fully by providing a good medical history and the information necessary to determine the type of anesthetic to be administered.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Use of prescription and nonprescription medications
  • Use of alcohol and recreational drugs (failure to report use of drugs can have dangerous consequences due to drug interactions with anesthetics)
  • Personal experience with previous anesthetics and/or how family members react to anesthetics
  • Diet, exercise and smoking habits
  • Allergic reactions to food and drugs

The type of anesthesia used is based on several factors, including your physical condition, the type of surgery to be performed, your previous anesthesia history, your reactions to medications, your and your surgeon’s preferences and information provided during the preoperative interview.

Sibley Memorial Hospital’s operating rooms are equipped with the most current anesthesia and monitoring equipment, which will continuously capture your electrocardiogram, blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, exhaled carbon dioxide, respiratory rate, body temperature, neuromuscular function and administered oxygen concentration. In complicated surgical procedures, prior to the operation, the anesthesiologist or surgeon may institute invasive monitoring. Should this be necessary, the anesthesiologist or surgeon will explain these procedures prior to surgery.

If you have a significant medical condition, extreme anxiety or have had trouble with an anesthetic in the past, you may have a consultation with one of the anesthesiologists prior to your surgery date. Have your plastic surgeon write you a prescription for a “pre-op consultation” with the Department of Anesthesiology. You may then call to make an appointment at 202-537-4955 to discuss and plan your care as appropriate.

You may request a specific anesthesiologist by speaking with your surgeon or by calling the Anesthesia Office at 202-243-2280 several days prior to your surgery.

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