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"Anesthesia" is a Latin word meaning, "without sensation." In 1842, a Georgia physician named Crawford Long used ether as an anesthetic agent to relieve the pain associated with surgery. Today, anesthesia ranks as one of American medicine's greatest gifts to the world.
What is Anesthesiology?
Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine that uses specific drugs to render your entire body -- or part of your body -- insensitive to pain. Anesthesia will enable you to tolerate a surgical procedure comfortably, with minimal emotional stress. It is also the provision of comprehensive medical care during such a procedure, so that any side effects of the operation or the anesthetic are anticipated and treated. Today's anesthesia practices allow a greater degree of safety and comfort than ever before, enabling a smooth start to your healing and recuperation. Based upon the type of surgery you are having, among other factors, there are different types of anesthesia.
The modern anesthesiologist is a doctor of medicine with three or more additional years of specialty training in anesthesia. Anesthesiologists are involved in intensive care, cardiac resuscitation, respiratory therapy, and pain treatment. Their primary role, however, is to care for patient needs during surgery or obstetrics and in the immediate postoperative period.
Thompson’s Anesthesiologists are a team of highly qualified, Board certified physicians. Many have additional expertise in anesthesia subspecialty areas such as obstetrics, pediatrics, intensive care, cardiovascular anesthesia, and pain therapy.
Note: The information below applies to the majority of patients having surgery, but it may not be appropriate for you. If you have any other questions, please contact your surgeon's office.
If you are being treated with diabetic medications, steroids, hormone replacements or anti-coagulants (blood-thinners), you should make certain to check with your surgeon before surgery. You should not continue taking vitamins, supplements and herbal treatments without informing both your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
If your doctor has agreed that you should take medicines on the day of surgery, you should take them with only a small amount of water to help keep your stomach empty.
Small children can be very afraid of needles, and some short surgical procedures may be safe without an I.V. before surgery. The anesthesiologist can have the child breathe in gas medications to cause relaxation and sleep, then start the I.V. if needed.