What to Expect Before Undergoing Anesthesia

Patients undergoing anesthesia for a procedure at Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center can expect a brief meeting with the anesthesiologist beforehand. Modern anesthesia is safe, but because any surgical procedure carries some risk, every patient at Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center is personally evaluated by an anesthesiologist.

Anesthesiologists are physicians who are trained to provide safe sedation and anesthesia to patients of all ages. The preoperative evaluation is key to maximizing that safety.

The anesthesia evaluation will only take a few minutes and usually will be done on the day of your procedure, said Dr. Dennis Newsome, a Watson Clinic anesthesiologist. “During that time, the anesthesiologist will go over your medical history, exercise tolerance and your most recent test results,” he said.

“Because anesthesia for surgical and endoscopy procedures can change a patient’s depth and rate of breathing, the anesthesiologist will examine the patient’s airway, mouth and teeth,” Dr. Newsome said.

The anesthesiologist also may ask questions about a patient’s previous experiences with anesthesia or whether the patient has ever been told he has a “difficult airway.”

Sometimes, a patient’s medical history may necessitate an anesthesia evaluation being performed prior to the day of the procedure (but within 48 hours of the scheduled time). That helps to avoid same-day cancellations for patients whose procedures would be safer if they were performed in a hospital setting.

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