Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Questions, Useful Answers

In the order that they were received.

Q: How can I get a copy of my medical records?

Answer: Please contact your physician’s clinical office for your medical records.

Q: Tell me about Anesthesia.

Answer: We use anesthesia to eliminate the sensation of pain during your procedure. The anesthesia you receive depends on your health, history, and the type of surgery you’re having. There are some risks involved with the use of anesthesia, and your provider will discuss the risks and benefits of its use with you. There are three basic types of anesthesia:

  1. General anesthesia affects the entire body and results in you having no awareness or feeling during the procedure. You will likely be given medicine through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm. You may also be fitted with a mask or tube that will allow you to breathe in oxygen and other gases or vapors. You will be monitored to ensure oxygen and gases are moving in and out of your lungs easily during the procedure. Side effects of general anesthesia include a sore throat or upset stomach, although these sensations are temporary and usually resolve quickly.
  2. Regional anesthesia produces a loss of feeling to a specific region of the body. You will be given an injection to numb the region requiring surgery. You may be awake during surgery or you may have sedation.
  3. Spinal anesthesia produces a loss of feeling in your body below the waist. You will sit up or lie on your side while an anesthesia provider injects medicine into your lower back. You will not be able to move your legs once the medicine starts to work. It may take longer for spinal anesthesia to wear off than it does for general anesthesia.
  4. A peripheral nerve block is an injection near a group of nerves to produce a loss of feeling in a specific area of your body or extremity (arm, leg, foot, shoulder) requiring surgery. You may also be sedated during a peripheral nerve block. An arm block involves an injection in your armpit or above the collarbone of the arm that requires surgery. A leg block involves an injection near the major nerves in your leg. Depending on the surgery, the injection may be given behind your knee, in your ankle or foot, or near your groin. A foot block involves an injection behind your knee or in your foot to produce a loss of feeling in your foot. A shoulder block involves an injection in your lower neck to produce a loss of feeling in your shoulder.
  5. Local anesthesia produces a loss of feeling to a small, specific area of the body. You will receive an injection to numb the area, but will remain awake during surgery.

Q: Tell me about Sedation.

Answer: We may use sedation to relax you during a procedure. Sedation may be used alone, or in addition to anesthesia. With sedation, you will feel one of two ways:

  • You may feel relaxed and awake. You will be able to answer questions and follow directions.
  • You may feel relaxed and drowsy and may even sleep through much of the procedure. You may hear sounds and voices around you and will easily awaken when someone touches or speaks to you.

Your doctor and Nurse Navigator or Scheduling Nurse can help you with your questions, as well.