Why it's done

Your anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist, along with your doctor, will recommend the best anesthesia option for you based on the type of surgery you are having, your overall health and your individual preferences. For certain procedures, they may recommend general anesthesia. These include procedures that may:

  • Take a long time
  • Result in significant blood loss
  • Expose you to a cold environment
  • Affect your breathing (particularly chest or upper abdominal surgery)

Other forms of anesthesia, such as light sedation combined with local anesthesia (for a small area) or regional anesthesia (for a larger part of your body), may not be appropriate for more involved procedures.

Nov. 20, 2015
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  9. Seniors and anesthesia. American Society of Anesthesiologists. https://www.asahq.org/whensecondscount/patients%20home/preparing%20for%20surgery/seniors%20and%20anesthesia. Accessed Sept. 24, 2015.
  10. Anesthesia awareness. American Society of Anesthesiologists. https://www.asahq.org/whensecondscount/patients%20home/preparing%20for%20surgery/surgery%20risks/anesthesia%20awareness. Accessed Sept. 28, 2015.
  11. Q&A: What you should know before surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. http://www.asahq.org/lifeline/what%20to%20expect/qa%20what%20you%20should%20know%20before%20surgery. Accessed Sept. 28, 2015.
  12. FAQ. American Society of Anesthesiologists. https://www.asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount/faq.aspx. Accessed Sept. 28, 2015.
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  14. Anesthesia experience. American Society of Anesthesiologists. http://asahq.org/lifeline/faqs/anesthesia%20experience. Accessed Sept. 28, 2015.
  15. Muluk V, et al. Perioperative medication management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 28, 2015.
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  17. Vretsakis G, et al. Management of intraoperative fluid balance and blood conservation techniques in adult cardiac surgery. The Heart Surgery Forum. 2011;14:E28.
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