Providing Comprehensive Anesthesia Care for the Front Range
1-866-491-1244

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia typically means the reversible or temporary loss of sensation or pain or awareness associated with painful procedures.  Major types of anesthesia include General Anesthesia, Regional Anesthesia, Local Anesthesia – with or without sedation, and Acute or Chronic Pain Blocks.

Boulder Valley Anesthesiologists are specialists in the administration of all these forms of anesthesia.

Generally your surgeon will briefly discuss anesthesia options appropriate for your particular surgery at the time they schedule your operation.

In Boulder, once you are scheduled for surgery you will be assigned an anesthesiologist who will assume your anesthetic care.  As part of the pre-surgery preparation process either a nurse will call you at home or work in the days before surgery or you will be scheduled for a pre-operative visit. Medical information will be collect that will help us plan your anesthesia.  You will be given an opportunity to share any of your relevant health history and prior anesthetic experiences.  Laboratory test may also be preformed.  Once all your information is collected, you will meet your anesthesiologist who will review all the details of your upcoming surgery.  This is typically done in the pre-operative area.  After considering all your unique needs an anesthetic plan will be developed and discussed with you.  The procedure will be explained to you and all your questions will be answered.

Your surgery and anesthesia will most likely include one or a combination of the following:

  • General Anesthesia which basically means being unconscious or totally unaware of what is going on and unaware of any pain or discomfort.   
  • Regional anesthesia involves anesthetizing or numbing of a region or area of the body.  It may be used as the sole form of anesthesia allowing you to be awake and aware of your surroundings during surgery or in combination with a General Anesthetic.  Common Regional Anesthetics include spinals and epidurals.
  • Local Infiltration is the injection of a local anesthetic or numbing medication directly into the surgical area.  This may be the primary anesthetic not requiring additional medications or in combination with General or Regional anesthetics.  This is frequently done by your surgeon.  If it is the primary anesthetic your anesthesiologist will usually give you sedating medications in addition to assure that you are comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure.
  • Pain Blocks are frequently administered in addition to General or Regional anesthesia.  The primary purpose for doing these blocks is to assist with pain control after the conclusion of your surgery.  Major types of Pain Blocks include Brachial Plexus blocks such as an Interscalene Block for shoulder surgery, Femoral Nerve Blocks commonly used for major knee surgery such as ACL repair, and sciatic blocks such as a Popliteal Block for foot or ankle surgery.  These blocks can frequently give up to 24 hours of significant pain relief.  It may even be possible to place a continuous catheter near these nerves and then attacking a pump that can continuously inject additional medications allowing these blocks to provide pain relief for several days.

Any procedure has risks and benefits as well as side effects and potential complications. These vary with the type of anesthesia, the surgical procedure, and the patient.  As part of your visit with your anesthesiologist, these risks will be discussed.  After your questions have been answered you will be asked to sign an Anesthesia Consent form documenting your understanding.

For more information on specific types of surgeries please check the following:

Disclaimer

IMPORTANT - This website is intended to provide an introduction to information as it relates to the practice of anesthesiology and is not intended to be construed as medical or anesthesia advice for your or any other particular situation. For additional information please Click Here.