Frequently Asked Questions

General Anesthesia Questions
Obstetrical Pain Management FAQs
Acute Post-Operative Pain Management FAQs
Chronic Pain Management FAQs
Peripheral Nerve Block FAQs

Q: What is an anesthesiologist?
A: An anesthesiologist is a doctor of medicine who has completed four years of medical school after graduating from college. Following medical school, today’s anesthesiologist completes four or more years of specialized medical training in the field of anesthesiology, which includes pain management and critical care medicine. Subspecialty fellowship years can also be served for subspecialty board certification in areas such as Chronic Pain Management. Many of our Anesthesiologists are fellowship trained and board certified in additional fields of medicine such as internal medicine.

Q: What is a C.R.N.A.?
A: A CRNA or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, (also referred to as a nurse anesthetist), is a master’s prepared advanced-practice nurse who has graduated from an accredited school of nurse anesthesia. They have the education and advanced skills to administer anesthetics as part of the anesthesia team, which consists of both CRNAs and Atlantic Anesthesia’s physician anesthesiologists. Many nurse anesthetists continue their education to the terminal degree level, earning a Ph.D.

Q: What does the anesthesiologist/CRNA do?
A: During Surgery, your anesthesia team is responsible for administering anesthesia while managing vital life functions, including breathing, heart rhythm, and blood pressure. Should you develop any medical problems during Surgery or in the recovery room, the anesthesia team will diagnose and treat them. They maintain constant critical care of the patient during Surgery, post-operative supervision of the recovery stay, and are often managing pain control during extended recoveries.

Q: When will I meet my anesthesiologist?
A: You will have a chance to meet and talk with an anesthesiologist during the pre-anesthesia interview, which will occur the day prior to your Surgery (if you are an in-patient) or the day of your admission (if you are scheduled through out-patient Surgery). Special consultation with an anesthesiologist can be arranged by notifying your surgeon.

Q: When will I meet my CRNA?
A: Should your care involve a CRNA, you will meet this team member during your pre-operative preparation on the day of your Surgery.

Q: What are the types of anesthesia?
A: There are three main types of anesthesia: general, regional, and monitored anesthesia care.
General Anesthesia temporarily makes a person unconscious so that no pain is perceived from the entire body. It is a carefully balanced combination of both inhaled and intravenously injected agents which can be used for all operations.

Regional Anesthesia can only be used for Surgery on selected regions of the body. An injection of a local anesthetic medication adjacent to large groups of nerves temporarily prevents pain signals from reaching the brain. For example, for hip, prostate, or vascular Surgery, your anesthesiologist might recommend spinal or epidural anesthesia. You can be sedated throughout Surgery under regional anesthesia, which will cause you to feel sleepy, but you will be able to respond to questions. Some recall is possible and expected.

Monitored Anesthesia Care with Sedation means that a local anesthetic is administered and your anesthesia provider gives you sedatives, pain medications, or other medications while also monitoring your vital signs. Cataract Surgery, for example, is frequently performed with this type of anesthesia. Your sedation will cause you to feel sleepy, but you will be able to respond to questions. Some recall is possible and expected.

Q: I have significant medical problems or anesthesia concerns. What should I do?
A: Bring these problems to the attention of your surgeon before the day of your operation. If needed, the surgeon’s office can contact our anesthesiologists well in advance of your procedure, or make arrangements for other medical consultations. If there are any special concerns, your usual doctor (internist, family practitioner, cardiologist, etc.) can also contact us directly. If you would like to speak directly to one of our anesthesiologists, you may call (757) 668-4871 between the hours 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM. If after this conversation you would like to meet personally with an anesthesiologist, we will gladly schedule an appointment for you.

Q: What do I need to do before Surgery?
A: Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure (except necessary medicines with sips of water), unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

Q: How will my medications interact with the anesthesia?
A: It may be extremely important for you to continue some of your medication, such as those for heart, blood pressure, and breathing problems. These medications should be taken with a sip of water. Other medicines, such as insulin, blood thinners, or aspirin-like drugs, might need to be stopped or the dose adjusted to prevent unwanted reactions; ask your surgeon about these medications. Please bring a list of your current or recently taken medications and their doses with you for your anesthesiologist to review.

Q: What type of anesthesia am I going to have?
A: Your anesthesiologist will review your medical condition in order to determine the most appropriate anesthetic plan for your particular situation. In addition, other factors are taken into consideration, such as the type and duration of your planned procedure, and your personal preferences.

Q: What do I need to do after outpatient Surgery?
A: The medications given during anesthesia will temporarily cloud your judgment and coordination. You must avoid activities such as driving, drinking alcoholic beverages, making significant decisions, and so forth, for at least twenty-four hours after the operation. This will require a responsible adult to escort you from the surgical facility, drive you home, and stay with you the night after your Surgery.

Q: Does the anesthesiologist provide pain relief after Surgery?
A: Your surgeon is able to consult with our post-operative pain management service, Consultants in Pain Management.  to provide special pain relief methods. Depending on the Surgery and your medical condition, we frequently use either patient-controlled analgesia (P.C.A.) or epidural analgesia.

P.C.A. PUMPS are filled with pain medication and are controlled by a programmable computer. You press a button to obtain a safe amount of medication by vein whenever you are in pain. This provides more rapid relief of pain as you are able to control the timing of your medicine.

EPIDURAL ANALGESIA: the epidural space runs the length of your back and is located just outside the sac that contains the spinal cord, nerves, and spinal fluid. A tiny catheter placed in the epidural space in the small of your back (the lumbar region) allows the administration of pain control medications after Surgery. Epidural analgesia is often more effective than other forms of pain management following certain types of procedures, and your anesthesiologist will explain this method more thoroughly if it is indicated.

Q: What are the risks of anesthesia?
A: All operations and anesthetics are associated with some risks that depend on various factors such as the medical condition of the patient as well as the type of Surgery. The anesthesiologist will review specific risks with you once the type of anesthetic you will receive is determined. Atlantic Anesthesia ensures that the highest safety measures and precautions are taken in the delivery of your anesthesia care to help prevent complications. Please take a minute to view our Advancing Excellence Process to view the progress we have made in setting the bar for providing safe anesthesia care. Our commitment remains to providing you—our patient–with the best care and satisfaction.

Q: Why did I receive a separate bill from my anesthesiologist?
A: Most physicians, including your anesthesiologist, are in private practice; that is, they are not hospital employees. Therefore, you will receive a separate statement from your anesthesiologist just as you will from your other physicians. Our offices can be reached at (757) 473-0044 and we would be happy to answer any billing questions. Please note that the hospital’s bill will include hospital supplies used in the administration of anesthetics.

Patients undergoing egg retrieval will not receive a bill, as the Jones Institute will handle this for you.