What is the role of the anesthetist in my health care?

One of the most important jobs of your anesthesia provider is to evaluate your medical status preoperatively and choose the safest and most appropriate anesthetic for your surgery. The “choice” of a general versus a regional anesthetic is not as simple as deciding whether you want to be awake or asleep during your operation. There are certain medical conditions or types of procedure that may require the use of one or the other.

The ultimate choice of the anesthesia you receive will depend on specific circumstances like your type of procedure and its length, your medical and surgical history, and your physical condition. After consultation with your doctor and members of your health care team, the anesthesia provider will discuss the various options availablet to you for your surgery.

After the type of anesthesia you will receive has been decided upon and explained to you, the anesthesia provider will administer the anesthetic medication, monitor your vital signs and adjust your anesthesia as needed during your procedure. Your anesthesia provider may also need to assist your breathing. Ultimately the anesthesia provider will be responsible for your well being while under his or her care and ensure that you are in the best possible state for the surgery team to perform the procedure.

Simply put, your anesthesia provider looks after you during your surgery so that your surgeon is free to concentrate on the operative procedure at hand.