At UNC Medical Center, our anesthesiology team shares a singular goal: providing the best possible care for our patients. We provide a full spectrum of expert anesthesia care to nearly 50,000 patients each year - from newborns to seniors. We offer care for outpatient surgery, invasive inpatient procedures, elective operations and emergencies. We offer care after surgery in the intensive care unit, and acute and chronic inpatient management.
Your Care Team
The Anesthesia Care Team always consists of an attending anesthesiologist and either a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or an anesthesia resident. They will take care of you during your surgical procedure. An anesthesiologist is a physician who has completely finished medical training, as well as specialty training in anesthesiology, and makes all final decisions about your anesthesia care. Your anesthesia care team may change during your surgery because of shift changes or for other reasons, but be assured that you will never be left alone while under the effects of anesthesia. At least one anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will be with you at all times during your procedure.
In some cases, your surgery team may decide that you will benefit from the involvement of the Acute Pain, Chronic Pain, or Regional Anesthesiology Services in your care plan. These services aim to improve your recovery experience by managing post-operative pain through a range of enhanced treatment options, such as epidurals, nerve blocks and pain regimen consultation. These anesthesiology teams closely collaborate with your surgeons and nurses to make sure you have the best possible experience at UNC Medical Center.
What to Expect
We ask that you follow these guidelines the night before and day of your surgery. Prior to your procedure, you may be sent to PreCare for your preoperative preparation. When you arrive at the UNC Medical Center PreCare clinic, our friendly staff of nurses, nurse practitioners, anesthesia residents and anesthesiologists will check you in and guide you through a preoperative screening questionnaire. This will help the staff get more information about you and help choose the best anesthetic plan. In addition, we may obtain anesthesia consent, and depending on the type of surgery, perform additional preoperative surgery. Please remember to bring an updated list of medications you are taking. If you have had difficulty with previous anesthetics, or have medical conditions that may affect anesthesia, we will review your medical records in detail. Any relevant information that you can bring will make this process easier and quicker.
This is what you can expect on the day of your procedure:
- Many different people will interview you before you actually go into the operating room. These include pre-procedural nurses and members of the surgery and anesthesia teams
- Each person may ask you the same or similar questions. While this may be frustrating, it is for your safety. It is much less likely that incorrect information will be obtained this way.
- Remember to bring a list of all of your allergies and medications – including dosage information – with you when you come to the hospital
- At the end of your procedure, you will be taken to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, where you will be carefully monitored
Types of Anesthesia
We offer two types of anesthesia: general anesthesia, which is when you are completely asleep, and varying degrees of awareness with the surgical site being numbed. Your anesthesiologist will discuss your options with you based on the type of procedure, your safety and comfort and any circumstances unique to your situation. There are instances where your plans may be altered for your safety, and your anesthesiologist will discuss this possibility with you.