Anaesthesiology plays an important role in surgery and many other medical procedures. Consultants use medications to keep you from feeling pain. During a procedure, the anaesthetist will check on you and adjust medication as needed.
Conditions in Which we Use Anaesthesia
Consultants use anaesthesia to stop pain and discomfort during all surgery types. We also may use anaesthesia during treatment for many different procedures and conditions. These include:
- Arthroscopy: Minimally invasive surgery in which consultants use small incisions.
- Colonoscopy or endoscopy: Examinations that use thin instruments inserted into the rectum (colonoscope) or throat (endoscope).
Before surgery, you'll meet with your anaesthetist to assess your condition and ensure you're fit for surgery. They also make a plan to manage any side effects that you may experience.
Not everyone experiences side effects from these medications. Depending on the type of drug used and the surgical procedure itself, some people experience:
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore throat
During screening, before surgery, tell your consultant about any medications you take. Be sure to include over-the-counter drugs or any supplements. If you've had problems with anaesthesia before or have any concerns about how it might affect you, let your anaesthetist know.
Specialised Anaesthesiology Services at UPMC
UPMC anaesthesia consultants are essential members of the surgical team. They work with your surgical consultant to create a specialised medication plan for your individual purposes. UPMC consultants will develop individualised anaesthesia plans as part of your overall care. These highly trained medical professionals have advanced knowledge in all types of anaesthesia medications and work with your consultant to help keep you safe during surgery and recovery.
Depending on the procedure, you might have:
- General anaesthesia: Consultants use a special mask or an intravenous (IV) line to deliver medication that puts you into a deep sleep. You won't feel any discomfort during this process or remember anything that happens during the procedure.
- Sedation: Sedation involves using a small amount of anaesthetic drugs to produce a “sleep-like" state. It makes you physically and mentally relaxed, but you will not be placed into a deep sleep.
- Regional anaesthesia: Consultants give you medication to block pain in one area of your body during a procedure. They may inject the medication or use a thin flexible tube (catheter) to deliver the drug.
- Local anaesthesia: UPMC consultants also provide local anaesthesia in which the anaesthetist injects medication to block feeling in a small part of the body. Consultants may use these drugs when stitching wounds, setting bones, or removing skin lesions.