Frequently Asked Questions

One of our board-certified anesthesiologists will be assigned to your case the day before surgery.  He/she may attempt to call you the evening before your surgery to go over the plan for your anesthesia care and answer any questions you may have prior to surgery.  We do not employ nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).   Your anesthetic will be conducted solely by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist.  
Advancements in clinical training, medications, and technology, have made current anesthesia techniques very safe.  It is rare that a serious, permanent problem arises from receiving an anesthetic.  The most common risks are nausea, sore throat, corneal abrasion(scratchy sensation in the eye) and confusion(mostly seen in elderly patients).  These effects are temporary and will usually go away by the next day.
While available studies have shown no evidence for risk of birth defects, it is advisable to defer elective surgeries until after delivery.  Should you require emergency surgery while pregnant, we will use medications/techniques that minimize exposure to the fetus and will have the capability for fetal monitoring before and after the surgery.
To minimize the risk of aspiration(food/liquids going into your lungs) during anesthesia, we require patients to refrain from eating and/or drinking for 8 hours prior to surgery.  If you need to take medications on the day of your surgery, it is okay to take them with a few sips of water.
Studies have shown that sleep apnea is exacerbated after receiving a general anesthetic.  For optimal safety, depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, type of procedure, and other medical conditions, it may be necessary to be observed in the hospital/surgery center overnight to make sure your oxygen levels stay in a safe range. If you are scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after your surgery, please bring your CPAP with you.
The amount of medication you receive is mostly based on your weight.  However many factors may affect the appropriate doses of anesthesia: co-existing medical conditions, medications, age, and alcohol/drug use to name a few. Our anesthesiologists are highly experienced in tailoring the right amount of medication for you.
Your anesthesiologist may attempt to call you the evening before your surgery to go over the plan for anesthesia and answer any questions you may have prior to surgery.  On the day of your surgery, you will meet your anesthesiologist prior to your procedure.
Most cases require some form of breathing tube to keep you as safe as possible.  If a breathing tube is required, it will be placed after you fall asleep and be removed just prior to waking up.  The breathing tube may cause a sore throat which usually only last one to two days.
You will be monitored continuously throughout your procedure for depth of anesthesia.  If you are having a general anesthetic, current monitoring techniques have made it extremely rare to have awareness under anesthesia.
Your anesthesiologist will be present throughout your entire surgery.  They will be monitoring your vital signs, depth of anesthesia and phase of surgery and adjust the medications they give you accordingly.  They will be in constant communication with your surgeon regarding your safety, plan for pain control and post-operative disposition.
Yes, depending on your surgery, a different type of anesthetic may be requested by your surgeon.

  • Sedation - Some procedures are able to be done under sedation given by your anesthesiologist.  Patients receiving sedation will not require a breathing tube, usually recover faster and tend to have less nausea than patients receiving general anesthesia.
  • Local anesthesia - For minor procedures, it is possible to accomplish this with local anesthesia given by your surgeon without the need for sedation.
  • Regional - Placing local anesthetic around specific nerves to make areas of your body numb. Learn more here.
  • Peripheral nerve block - Used commonly for orthopedic procedures of either the arms or legs, local anesthesia is placed around a specific nerve under ultrasound guidance which will make that area numb for around 20 hours.  These blocks are extremely effective  in minimizing post operative pain.
  • Spinal/Epidural - Local anesthesia is placed near the spinal cord to make you numb over larger areas.  
  • General - Stronger medication is given to make you unconscious for the duration of your surgery.  Often times a breathing tube is needed to optimize breathing when this type of anesthesia is used.
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will discuss what type of anesthesia is most appropriate for your specific case.  Often times procedures can be accomplished under a variety of anesthetic choices in which case you will be actively involved in choosing the type of anesthesia for your case.
You should continue to take all of your normal medications on the day of surgery with a sip of water unless told otherwise.  If you are on medications that lower your blood sugar, please do not take those medications on the day of surgery.  
Your anesthesiologist will administer a medication to relax you prior to going to the operating room.
For each patient, we will formulate a specific plan for managing pain post-operatively.  This often involves a “multimodal” approach meaning that we will incorporate different types of pain control to achieve the most comfortable response after your surgery.  This includes a combination of; local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, IV narcotics, IV non-opioids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) and oral pain medication.
Mission Anesthesia Consultants contracts with the same insurance companies that your surgeon accepts.  We will always attempt to bill your insurance company first, however you still may be responsible for any copays, coinsurance or deductible balances. You may pay your bill by visiting
Yes, you will receive a bill specifically for your anesthesia services, separate from your bill for the hospital and surgeon. You may pay your bill by visiting
We require a responsible adult to drive you home after receiving anesthesia (sedation or general).  In addition to not operating heavy machinery, we also recommend not making any major decisions or signing legal documents for 24 hours after anesthesia as some of the drug effects may still be in your system.