Anesthesia for Ambulatory Surgery

Anesthesia for Outpatient Ambulatory Surgery

Today, many surgeries and special procedures can be done safely and comfortably as outpatient, or ambulatory procedures. Patients scheduled for outpatient ambulatory surgery come in the day of the surgery, have the procedure performed, and go home the same day. Outpatient surgery has proven to be safe, convenient and cost-effective, and may be recommended to you for your procedure.

Spectrum Anesthesiologists are experienced in outpatient care, and will use short-acting anesthetics and special techniques to ensure that you are safe and comfortable, and yet ready shortly after the surgery to go home. Various anesthetic techniques may be used for ambulatory surgery patients, including general anesthesia, regional anesthesia such as spinals or nerve blocks, or local anesthesia with sedation. A friend or family member should bring you at the scheduled time and take you home when you are ready to leave. It is helpful if someone can be with you for the first 24 hours to assist you as you recover from your experience.

Additional Information

It is very important that you follow your pre-operative instructions, such as not eating or taking certain mediations. On the day of the surgery you should arrive at the ambulatory surgical unit at the time given to you with your pre-operative instructions. A nurse will admit you, check your vital signs, help you to change, and answer questions. If it has not been done earlier, a surgeon may take your history and perform a physical examination. A Spectrum Anesthesiologist will also review your medical history, and discuss the anesthetic plan with you before proceeding. When you are ready for surgery, an intravenous line will be started, and you may be given IV sedation to help you relax before entering the operating room.

Throughout the surgery, an anesthesia provider is in constant attendance, continuously monitoring with specialized equipment, modifying the anesthetic technique as needed, remaining vigilant to detect any medical problems that may arise, and ensuring that your anesthetic course goes smoothly.

After your operation or procedure, you will be moved to the post anesthesia care unit, where you will continue to be monitored as you recover from the effects of the anesthetic. You will be monitored closely by a qualified nurse who will also help to keep you comfortable. A Spectrum Anesthesiologist will continue to be responsible for your care, assessing and treating pain or other side effects that may occur, and making any necessary medical decisions during the recovery period. When you are feeling ready to go home, you will receive instructions about activity, diet, pain medications, and other important information.

Because quality and patient satisfaction are important to Spectrum Medical Group, you will generally be called a day or two after your surgery, and asked about your progress. You will be asked about your comfort, your anesthesia experience, and if any problems have arisen, they will be followed up promptly. Spectrum values feedback, and if you have any concerns about your anesthesia experience you should feel comfortable contacting the anesthesiologist at any time. All information is confidential, and may be used for review by the anesthesia staff to guide improvements in service quality and efficiency for other patients needing ambulatory surgery.

Regional nerve blocks provide effective pain relief of the surgical area for the first 6-14 hours following surgery. If you are a candidate for a regional nerve block, your anesthesiologist may offer you this service. Patients receiving a nerve block are first given a sedative. A local anesthetic is then injected near the nerves that go to the surgical area. After you receive the block, you will then be given general anesthesia for the surgery. Upon awakening, the surgical area should be numb and the pain minimal. To minimize anxiety, nerve blocks in children are usually placed while the child is asleep under general anesthesia.  Click here for frequently asked questions.