Types of Anesthesia
Because your safety is our primary concern at Palomar Health, we are proud to provide our patients an all-physician anesthesia team. These members of Anesthesia Consultants of California Medical Group (ACCMG) are all highly-trained, Board Certified (or eligible) specialists.
These highly-trained doctors will take charge of your safety and comfort before, during and immediately after your procedure. They will stay with you throughout your surgery, keeping a close eye on your vital body functions, while giving you medications to relax you, block pain and/or make you unconscious for your surgery.
You will meet your anesthesia doctor shortly before your surgery for an examination and to review your medical history, allergies, current medications, surgical history and previous experience with anesthesia.
The best anesthesia for you will depend on your past and current health, your test results and the type of surgery/procedure you are having. Your anesthesia doctor will discuss your options, including the benefits and possible risks or side effects.
- You will be completely unconscious (deeply asleep), have no sensation of pain
- An injection of medication will block the nerve to a part of your body, depending on where your surgery will be. This may be done for surgical anesthesia and/or to treat after-surgery pain. Epidural or spinal blocks numb the abdomen and lower body. Other nerve blocks may be done to numb only certain nerves in the arms or legs. With regional anesthesia, IV medications are given to relax you and blur your memory. Sometimes regional anesthesia is combined with general anesthesia.
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
- IV medication is given to you to keep you relaxed and sleepy. Your surgeon will inject numbing medication in the area of surgery so you will not feel pain. Your memory will be blurred by the IV sedation so you may not remember the procedure.
- This is used for minor procedures. Numbing medicine is injected by the surgeon at the surgery site. An anesthesia doctor is usually not present for these procedures.
Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
You will be transferred to a recovery area after your procedure. Your anesthesiologist will ensure your well-being and then hand over your care to a highly-trained post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse. This nurse will treat any discomfort that you might have and watch over your health while you are recovering from anesthesia.
We apologize but we are not able to allow visitors into the recover area. We want you to be with your family and friends as soon as possible but we have two major concerns that prevent you from having visitors:
1) The first concern is for your safety. Our recovery nurses need to intensely focus on you and your health monitoring systems. Even the minor distraction of visitors could affect your health.
2) The second concern has to do with patient privacy. The recovery period can be a difficult transition. Most patients have expressed a strong belief that they are not comfortable with other patients' visitors seeing them during this sensitive time.
Your family and friends will be able to speak with the surgeon immediately after the procedure and they can get periodic updates on your PACU status through our patient liaisons. They will be able to join you in the prep area if you are heading home or in your room if you will be staying overnight. The PACU process usually takes between one and two hours.