Providing Comprehensive Anesthesia Care for the Front Range


What is the normal recovery time for a general anesthetic?
Everyone is different and responds to surgery differently.  Your general health and the type and duration of surgery are major factors in recovery.  In general many people are awake enough to answer questions within 5 – 10 minutes following surgery but remain groggy for a several hours afterward.  Your body will take up to a week to completely eliminate the medicines from your system but most people will not notice much effect after about 24 hours.

Should I do anything different for the first 24 hours following surgery?
We ask you to refrain from making important decisions or from driving a car for 24 hours after your surgery.

Is there an age over or under where it is not safe to have anesthesia?
No.  Anesthesia can be performed safely in any age group.  We are more concerned with chronic medical conditions and overall health than with actual age.  Some people are quite healthy and active into their 80’s or 90’s while some are significantly limited by medical conditions at a much earlier age.

When will I meet my anesthesiologist?
You will meet your anesthesiologist on the day of surgery in the preoperative holding area. Here, the anesthesiologist will perform a medical evaluation and discuss the possible options of general, regional, or local anesthesia after considering your medical history, prior anesthetics, and the type of surgery to be performed.

Will I wake up during my operation?
Extremely unlikely.  Although this is a real problem and it has received a great deal of attention in the popular press, fortunately it is very uncommon in actual practice.  We at BVA are very aware of this potential horrifying possibility and do everything within our powers to prevent it.  While you are sleeping we vigilantly monitor your level of consciousness using the latest techniques and monitoring.  Some surgeries that are at risk for awareness under anesthesia are cardiac surgery, major trauma surgery, and general anesthesia for C-Sections.  If you have special concerns, be sure to mention them to your anesthesiologist.

How do you put me to sleep?
Most anesthesiologists use a combination of medicines to put you to sleep.  These medications are usually given through an intravenous line that is placed in one of the veins in your arm.  Occasionally, especially in children, we will use a mask induction where you will inhale anesthetic gases that will cause you to go to sleep.

How will you keep me asleep?
After we have put you to sleep, generally a breathing tube is placed either in the back of your mouth or into your trachea.  You will most likely be breathing anesthesia gases along with oxygen through this tube.  These gases in addition to additional medications that may be given through your IV will keep you asleep.  We can continue to give you these medications until the end of your surgery.

How do you wake me up?
To wake you up we titrate the medications that we are giving you through your IV and the anesthetic gases you may be breathing.  By reducing these agents and possibly giving you a reversal, or antidote, for other medications we can wake you up.  This is all part of the anesthetic plan.

Will an anesthesiologist be with me throughout my operation?
Absolutely!  A board certified anesthesiologist will be with you throughout your entire operation.  If your anesthesiologist needs to take a short break on longer surgeries, a replacement anesthesiologist will assume your care for that time period.

Why can’t I eat or drink before my operation?
Under anesthesia you may loose control of the normal reflexes that prevent you from regurgitating or aspirating or inhaling gastric contents into your lungs.  This can lead to a very serious complication including pneumonia or even death.  For this reason, we ask you to have nothing at all by mouth for at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.  Because we are concerned with your safety we take this very seriously.  If you are in violation of this policy, your surgery will most likely be postponed or canceled.

Can you prevent nausea after surgery?
Obviously, if we could prevent nausea in everyone we would.  Unfortunately most of the medications that we will be giving you can cause nausea.  Newer anesthetics are much less likely to cause nausea than older medications and newer anti-nausea medications work much better at preventing nausea.  We at BVA take great pride in doing all that we possibly can to reduce the incidence of this very unpleasant and concerning side effect.  If you have had problems with nausea in the past or have problems with motion sickness please inform your anesthesiologist prior to your surgery.

Will I receive a separate bill from the anesthesiologist’s office?
Yes. In addition to the surgeon’s bill and the hospital’s bill, you will receive a separate bill for the services provided by your anesthesiologist. As a courtesy to you our billing service will bill your insurance company directly.  If you are a “self-pay” patient, have no insurance, or your insurance will not cover your elective procedure, please contact our office at (800) 242-1131 in advance of your procedure to make the necessary payment arrangements.

Do you accept various forms of payment?
Yes, we participate with most insurance companies. Any amount due from the patient can be paid by cash, check, or credit card.  If you should anticipate difficulty paying your bill because of financial hardship please contact us in advance so that we can help you work out some payment options. Payment plans must be arranged and approved in advance of the patient’s procedure.


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