Anesthesia services are provided by East Carolina Anesthesia Associates (ECAA), one of North Carolina’s largest, private anesthesiology practices. The practice has a long history of providing quality medical care and service to the people of North Carolina for over 35 years..
An anesthesiologist is a physician practicing anesthesiology – a medical subspecialty. The anesthesia care team, just like in all other areas of medicine, consists of a physician and an anesthetist working together. The anesthetist is either a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or an Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA). The care team, monitors the case and is present during the surgery and the recovery period. This team approach ensures that multiple members of a team with advanced skills are immediately available during anesthetic care.
ECAA partners with Charlotte Surgery Center – Museum Campus to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients. The types of anesthesia available include: sedation, regional and general.
Patients are given individual instructions. Patients that fail to follow these directions may significantly increase the risks of anesthesia. It is important that all instructions are carefully followed.
Some medications should be taken and others should not. It is important to discuss this with the physician.
Many patients are apprehensive about anesthesia and surgery. Talk with the anesthesiologist and make sure to ask any questions. The anesthesiologist serves as a patient advocate and is experienced in making the surgical process safe and comfortable.
What to expect
In addition to pain medications, nerve blocks may be available for some types of surgery. Most blocks can be performed in the preoperative area under mild sedation and are tolerated very well. The anesthesia team will discuss available options. When available, a nerve block can mostly reduce or may completely eliminate surgical pain for 8 to 24 hours. Often, no additional pain medicine is needed in the recovery room. Nausea and vomiting risk is also reduced or eliminated.
For self pay patients, nerve blocks are an additional cost.
A member of the care team will perform an interview prior to the procedure. This usually takes place on the day of surgery, but in some cases, these interviews may be initiated before the day of surgery. The anesthesiologist may ask additional questions about medical history and review completed laboratory tests. The anesthesiologist works with the patient to develop the anesthetic plan of care. Patients will have the opportunity to discuss anesthetic choices including risks and benefits. The anesthetic plan of care is individualized. During this time, each patient has the opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns.
In the Operating Room
In the operating room, the anesthesiologist is uniquely qualified and personally responsible for directing the anesthetic plan of care. Anesthesiologists are medical specialists who ensure the comfort and safety of the patient. Vital functions such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and breathing are managed.
Recovery After Surgery
After the procedure is completed each patient is taken to the post-operative care unit, also called the recovery room. The anesthesiologist is responsible to direct the monitoring and administration of medications. Vital functions are closely monitored by specially trained nurses. Medications to minimize postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting are given as needed. When medically indicated, patients are offered something to drink and the responsible party may be allowed to visit. Patients should not attempt to stand without assistance. Most patients are ready to go home within 60 minutes after surgery. Verbal and written instructions will be given. A telephone number will be provided for any concerns that may arise when you get home. In general, for the first 24 hours after your anesthesia:
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do take any prescription medications as ordered by the physician
- Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery
- Do not make important decisions
- Do not stay alone for the first 24 hours
Be prepared to go home and continue your recovery there. Patients may experience drowsiness or minor side effects such as muscle aches, sore throat, headaches and mild nausea. These usually decline rapidly in the hours following surgery. Most patients do not feel up to their usual activities the next day. Plan to take it easy for a few days. At our earliest convenience a member of our team attempt to reach each patient and check on their recovery.