Anesthesiologists at EvergreenHealth are physicians dedicated to providing the most advanced, patient focused, safe anesthesia care available.
All of our physicians are licensed by the state of Washington, American Board of Anesthesiology Certified and are available 24/7. Additionally, we provide subspecialty anesthesia care for cardiac, pediatric, obstetric, neurosurgery and pain management.
Throughout surgery, your anesthesiologist will be by your side constantly monitoring physiological changes that can occur. This vigilance will allow immediate intervention to provide the safest possible anesthesia care available.
Anesthesia at EvergreenHealth
Dr. Scott Burks talks about anesthesia care at EvergreenHealth:
What is General Anesthesia?
A general anesthetic involves putting the whole body “to sleep” for the surgical period. Anesthesia sleep is quite different from normal sleep because the drugs used to induce this sleep affect all the body’s organs simultaneously. The drugs used are very potent and their management can be very complex. The achievement of the desired effect while avoiding or minimizing side effects requires continued monitoring and adjustments by the anesthesiologist.
The “induction” of anesthesia most commonly involves the injection of IV medications that quickly, but smoothly, put the patient into the unconscious state. Another less commonly used option for the induction of sleep involves breathing anesthesia gases via a mask.
The “maintenance” of anesthesia during the surgical period involves a combination of IV medications and certain anesthetic gases (inhalation agents) to keep the patient “asleep". During this time, your anesthetic depth and vital signs are being closely monitored by the anesthesiologist with the assistance of modern technologies.
The risks of general anesthesia vary greatly depending upon your medical condition and the type of surgery you are having. In addition, emergency surgery tends to have higher risks than planned elective surgery. Be assured that your anesthesiologist will have a thorough discussion with you about the particular risks specific to your medical condition and the type of surgery you are having.
What is Regional Anesthesia?
Regional anesthesia involves making a particular region of your body insensitive to pain or “numb.” This is often referred to as getting a “block.” The injection of a local anesthetic near a nerve or group of nerves provides the regional anesthetic. Although there are many types of regional anesthesia, the most common ones are spinal, epidural, femoral and axillary blocks.
Regional anesthesia may be the sole means of management during your operation, or it may be used for post-operative pain control in conjunction with general anesthesia during the surgery. After the anesthesiologist performs a thorough medical history and examination, he or she will give an opinion as to the best anesthetic for you. This opinion is based on your medical condition, the surgery planned, the expected length of surgery and the considerations of the risks and benefits of the anesthetic options. The anesthesiologist's goal is to keep you comfortable while providing the surgeon with optimal operating conditions for a successful surgery.
After the operation has been successfully completed, your surgical team will transfer you from the operating room to the recovery room (also called Post Anesthesia Care Unit or PACU). In the recovery room, nursing staff will continue to monitor your vital signs, degrees of consciousness, pain levels and hydration status until all are stable. Our goal for every patient is to recover as quickly and comfortably as possible.