Anesthesia

Your Health. Your Hospital

Referring to a state of unconsciousness, memory loss, lack of pain and muscle relaxation, anesthesia is a procedure used before the patient undergoes surgery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery, it can be general, local or sedation. Shortly after a patient is given anesthesia, they will fall asleep or, if they are given local anesthesia, the part of the body that needs to be operated on will become numb. At Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our anesthesiologists have vast knowledge in this branch of medicine and will thereby be able to recommend you the most suitable type of anesthesia for the surgery you have to undergo.

Attentive Monitoring Throughout Surgery

Anesthesia enables surgeons to perform a wide range of medical interventions. These are usually surgical procedures during which, for great accuracy and precision, it is important that the patient does not move or experience any type of pain or agony. The primary goals of anesthesia include:

  • unconsciousness
  • amnesia
  • analgesia
  • muscle relaxation

If you choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital to undergo surgery, our team of anesthesiologists will permanently keep a close eye on you throughout the entire procedure so that they can prevent any potential health complication that may arise. With years of experience in this field of medicine, our anesthesiologists are ready to attend to you over the course of your surgery, regardless of how long or complex it may be.

We Value Safety Above All

Our anesthesiologists are extensively trained and will constantly monitor you during surgery to ensure your safety. The anesthesiologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital have extensive specialized training that allows the correct assessment of the type and quantity of anesthetics used for each and every separate case, depending on the type of procedure involved, but also on the age and the general physical condition of the patient. The most common types of drugs used separately or in combination to induce anesthesia include:

  • general anesthetics
  • sedatives
  • hypnotics
  • paralytics
  • narcotics
  • analgesics

Individualized Care for Each Patient

Depending on the surgery you have to undergo, our anesthesiologists will recommend you the most suitable type of anesthesia for your procedure. While complex and long surgeries require general anesthesia, minor surgeries usually call for local anesthesia, which will completely numb the part of the body that the surgery concerns so that you will feel no pain or discomfort. It is important to keep in mind that, when it comes to general anesthesia, there are several side-effects you may experience when you wake up, including:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sore throat
  • dry mouth
  • muscle aches
  • itching
  • shivering
  • hoarseness
  • sleepiness

However, these side-effects are minor and usually resolve themselves within a day following the surgery you underwent. If you struggle with nausea and vomiting after the surgery, the nurses at our hospital will give you medication to stop these symptoms, such as antiemetics.

Types of Anesthesia

Our skillful team of anesthesiologists is familiar with every type of surgery, so they will have the necessary knowledge to recommend you the most effective anesthesia for your procedure. There are 3 types of anesthesia:

  • general
  • local
  • sedation

It is worthy of note that these types of anesthesia may be used in combination for certain surgical procedures. While general anesthesia involves the deepest state of sleep and relaxation, sedation is a mild form of anesthesia that is usually employed for procedures that imply a certain degree of discomfort for the patient, such as a colonoscopy.

General anesthesia is the suppression of activity in the central nervous system and induces unconsciousness and complete lack of sensation. The patient is unable to feel any pain and experiences a state which resembles a regular sleep. Unlike during regular sleep, however, in this state, the brain gives no response to pain or the surgical intervention. During this type of anesthesia, the vital functions of the patient are closely monitored, with breathing being assisted and controlled. General anesthesia is recommended during surgical procedures characterized by:

  • long duration
  • significant blood loss
  • exposure to cold
  • effect on breathing

Local anesthesia typically affects a larger area of the body and blocks the transmission of nerve impulses between a given part of the body and the spinal cord. Depending on the type of action, local anesthesia can be divided into:

  • the peripheral blockade, which inhibits nerve sensory perception within a specific region of the body
  • the central blockade, in which the anesthetics remove sensory perception from any area below block level

Local anesthetics are usually administered in the form of injection. These are drugs that are similar in structure to cocaine but have no abuse potential. The duration of their effect varies anywhere between 30 minutes and 4 hours.

Sedation, also known as dissociative anesthesia, inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses between different centers of the brain, blocking anxiety response and the creation of long-term memories. Different procedures call for different sedation types. Thereby, depending on the amount of sedative and the specific state induced, sedation may be:

  • minimal
  • moderate
  • deep

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the epidural injections are considered treatment methods for back pain.

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You need to have an empty stomach before any surgery because the anesthetic increases the chances of regurgitating, which can damage your lungs and cause breathing problems.

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