FAQ's About Anesthesia Safety

Anesthesia is one of the game-changers in medical history. It’s good stuff—without it, doctors wouldn’t be able to help nearly as many patients, and few would even consider elective surgery without it.

But if you’re nervous about anesthesia, however, you’re not alone. The idea of being “put to sleep” can be scary. The truth? Today anesthesia is safer than ever when administered by a qualified professional. Drugs and protocols have come a long way in just the last 20 years—serious complications are extremely rare.

What do you do at Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery to ensure my safety?

  • We perform surgery at our private, on-site operating suite, which is accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). This provides a comfortable, safe setting free from the distractions you may encounter at a hospital.
  • Dr. Clark always works with a board certified physician anesthesiologist and team of highly trained support staff for cases using general anesthesia. This allows her to concentrate on your surgery while ensuring that your health is being constantly monitored by a qualified professional.
  • Our operating suites are fully equipped to make a swift response in an emergency.
  • Dr. Clark and our staff communicate regularly and thoroughly with our anesthesiology team to ensure everyone is aware of your medical history and any special considerations.

What happens while I’m under anesthesia?

  • Before beginning the process, your physician anesthesiologist will greet you and go over your medical history.
  • Next, you will be given an intravenous sedative to help you relax before you enter the operating room.
  • In the O.R., we will give you a second intravenous anesthetic to help you fall asleep, followed by gas to maintain sleep.
  • While you are “out,” your anesthesiologist will be present at all times to continually monitor your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and other vital functions, adjusting the anesthetics as necessary.
  • When your procedure is over, the anesthesiologist administers medications to help you wake up and keep you comfortable. Patients are typically awake 30 to 45 minutes after their procedures.

What can I do to ensure my anesthesia is safe?

  • If you’re having general anesthesia, make sure an experienced, board certified physician anesthesiologist is leading your care. These specialists have achieved the highest standard for training and expertise (>12,000 hours of clinical training vs. ≈1,650 for nurse anesthetists).
  • Be honest with your surgeon and anesthesiologist about your medical history. Your anesthesiologist will adjust medications and procedure protocols based on preexisting medical conditions as well as any drugs or supplements you take. If you are asked to discontinue a product, do it.
  • Quit smoking. Anesthesia risks are only one good reason why you need to quit well before surgery.
  • Follow your pre-surgery instructions. This includes avoiding aspirin and other medications that can induce bleeding, as well as not eating or drinking within 8 hours of your procedure.

What are the possible risks of anesthesia?

Serious complications are extremely rare and largely avoidable if you follow the 4 points above. The most common risks and side effects include grogginess, nausea and vomiting after surgery, although our experienced team uses techniques that help minimize these effects.

Aspiration pneumonitis can happen if food particles enter your lungs. The risk is close to zero if you stop eating and drinking as instructed. Allergic reaction is extremely rare, but if you or anyone in your family has had a bad reaction to anesthesia, let your surgeon and anesthesiology team know before surgery.

Questions? Contact us for a personal consultation with Dr. Clark