Anesthesia Services

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Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. Anesthesia services at Lexington Medical Center are provided by board certified anesthesiologists from Wake Forest Baptist Health. Anesthesia care is administered by an anesthesiologist, or by an anesthesia care team consisting of both an Anesthesiologist and a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist).

Throughout your procedure, we use advanced technology to monitor vital signs such as breathing, blood pressure, brain function and heart rhythm. We are here to diagnose and treat patients in the operating room, recovery room and intensive care unit.

Types of Anesthesia We Offer 

Before surgery, your anesthesia provider will review your medical condition and history in order to plan the appropriate type of anesthesia.

Local Anesthesia

For minor surgery where a small area needs to be numb, a local anesthetic is administered via injection. Local anesthesia temporarily stops the sensation of pain in a particular area of the body. The patient is conscious, but may be sleepy and does not feel pain. Local anesthesia is usually administered by the surgeon.

Monitored Anesthesia Care

With this approach, you usually receive pain medication and sedatives through intravenous lines from your anesthesiologist. The surgeon or anesthesiologist also will inject local anesthesia into the skin, which will provide additional pain control during and after the procedure. While you are sedated, your anesthesiologist will monitor your vital body functions.

Regional Anesthesia

A portion of the body is numbed by injecting anesthetics around nerves in a region of the body corresponding to the surgical procedure. The patient may be conscious or may be sedated; however, anesthetics block the nerves and prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Two common forms are described below.

  • Epidural - Commonly used for labor and delivery or surgery of the lower limbs. A thin catheter is placed in the "epidural" space, which is the thin membrane surrounding the spinal cord.
  • Spinal - Often used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal or lower extremity surgery. An anesthetic is injected into the spinal fluid below the level of the spinal cord.

General Anesthesia

Being "put to sleep" by medicines which are inhaled or administered through an intravenous line (a thin plastic tube inserted into a vein, usually in the forearm). Once asleep, a breathing tube may be inserted through the mouth into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during the surgery. The patient is unconscious and does not feel pain. Once the surgery is complete, the anesthesia provider stops the anesthetics and the patient awakens.

Post-Operative Pain Relief

Acute Pain Management

In addition to relief of patients' pain during a surgical procedure, it is equally important for the patient's comfort and well-being to receive adequate pain relief postoperatively. Anesthesiologists are responsible for ensuring that a patient's pain is under control before they are discharged from the recovery room. An anesthesiologist may prescribe specific pain medications or perform specialized procedures to maximize patient comfort, which helps to minimize stress on the patient's heart and blood pressure. The techniques that are best suited for each individual patient are chosen to allow for proper rest and healing.

Meeting Your Anesthesiologist

You will meet your anesthesiologist during a pre-anesthesia interview, usually the day of surgery. He or she will ask questions about your medical history, current conditions, allergies and medications. Please list all medications and/or herbal supplements you are currently taking. Please feel free to ask any questions about the types of anesthesia, risks and benefits - we want you to be informed and comfortable.

What to Expect After Surgery

In-Patient Surgery

Immediately following surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room, where a specialized nurse will assist in your care while you "wake up." Following your initial recovery period, you will be returned to your room.

Out-Patient Surgery

After surgery, you will remain with the recovery nurses until your medical team has determined that your anesthetic has worn off. You will then be released. Please arrange to have a responsible adult take you home. Your driving abilities may be affected for at least 48 hours; therefore, you cannot be released unless you are accompanied by an adult. Please be sure to follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions. Don't hesitate to talk to your anesthesiologist or CRNA if you have any questions. 

Anesthesia FAQ

What is an Anesthesiologist? 

Today’s Anesthesiologists are physicians who, after college, have graduated from an accredited medical school and successfully completed at least four more years of training, including an internship and residency in anesthesiology. Anesthesiologists have advanced understanding of cardiology, pulmonary medicine, critical care, general medicine and general surgery. This training helps Anesthesiologists make informed medical decisions while in the operating room. During surgery, your anesthesia provider is continuously present to monitor vital functions such as the patients’ heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, and also to provide relief from surgical pain and stress. Anesthesiologists also provide management to mothers and babies during childbirth and manage critical care patients. Additionally, Anesthesiologists manage patients with acute or chronic pain.

 

What is a CRNA?

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) has an advanced clinical anesthesia nursing degree in addition to being a Registered Nurse (RN). Upon graduation, the nurse must pass a national certification exam to become a CRNA. An anesthesia care team often consists of an Anesthesiologist working together with a CRNA.

Will I receive a bill for anesthesia services?

Yes, since the anesthesiologists are a physician specialist like your surgeon or radiologist, for example, you will receive a separate bill for his or her services. Payment for these services should be covered by your insurer. In some cases the check from your insurer for payment of our services may be sent directly to you. If you receive payment for our services from your insurance company please call our billing office at 336-238-4760 and they will instruct you on how to send this payment to us. In addition, we want you to be aware of a North Carolina General Statute that prohibits insurance companies from subjecting their insured patients to out-of-network benefit levels, or penalties, when they receive covered services from our anesthesiologists. In an effort to ensure your protection under the statute, if we receive an incorrect payment from your insurance company, we will contact you again by mail or by telephone and advise you on how to appeal to your insurance company for correct handling of your claim.

 

How to Get Here

Anesthesia Services250 Hospital Drive
Lexington, NC 27292

Questions for the Anesthesiologist:
336-238-4219
Questions about your bill:
(336) 716-9600 or (336) 716-8792.
Pain Center:
336-238-4090

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