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Anesthesia

Our goal is to make the examinations and the operation pain-free and as safe and as pleasant as possible. We observe and support what are called vital functions (body functions important to life) such as breathing and blood circulation. We are also there for you after the operation, and will treat your pain and all other symptoms.

Before the operation
At least 3 to 4 days before the operation, visit your family doctor, if necessary with the attached form, to have the pre-operative diagnostics performed. Bring the results of the examination with you to the operation. Please contact us promptly if something unusual appears at this pre-examination. On the day before the operation, please check once again that you have available all the documents for the operation. Confirm your arrival or your appointment at the telephone number of your operating physician. On the evening before the operation, eat a light supper. Drink alcohol only in moderation. At the latest right now, check to see who will bring you home after an outpatient operation and will take care of you at home. Pickup will be about 4 to 6 hours after the starting time of your operation.

On the day of the operation
If you regularly take medications for high blood pressure, take them as well on the operating day with very little liquid. No eating, drinking, or smoking.
Please shower at home before the operation. Do not use any skin cream after showering. Use no makeup. Remove nail polish. Jewelry should not be taken into the operating room. Remove dental appliances only when requested. The tube will be inserted into your windpipe.

In the operating room
In the operating room or in the preparation room, we begin the preparation for anesthesia with ongoing monitoring of your heart activity (EKG); we measure your blood pressure, and a sensor shows us the oxygen content of your blood. We then insert an infusion line into the vein on the back of your arm or hand, what is called a venous drip. Further developments depend on which anesthesia procedure has been discussed with you.

During anesthesia
During anesthesia (general anesthesia), you will lose consciousness and any feeling of pain throughout your body. You will be in a state similar to deep sleep during the entire duration of the operation. A combination of various medications is used for anesthesia, usually beginning with the venous drip or an infusion cannula. Later on it may also be administered via the airway. In longer operations, after you fall asleep a tube will be inserted into your windpipe (tube) or into your throat (laryngeal mask) to secure your breathing. The tube in particular guarantees a high level of safety. It divides the airway from the food passage, and thus prevents saliva, stomach acid, or contents of the stomach from getting into the lungs (aspiration).
Thanks to modern anesthetic techniques and new medications, you will be awake in only a few minutes after the end of the operation. It is possible that for some time you will feel tired or somewhat numb. Should you feel nauseous or feel pain, please tell us. We are there for you, and we keep appropriate antidotes available.

Spinal anesthesia
In spinal anesthesia, a numbing material is sprayed into the spinal cord space, which is filled with spinal fluid (approx. 10 cm below the spinal cord). After local numbing, the anesthetist inserts a thin needle into your back. When the spinal fluid space is reached, a small amount of the numbing material is injected. In this way the sensation of pain in the legs and the lower abdomen is prevented. The legs become temporarily without feeling and lame. The regulating ability of the blood circulation is also impaired.
However, you will not lose consciousness, but stay awake. For outpatient anesthesia, we recommend this procedure only in exceptional cases.

Plexus anesthesia
In plexus anesthesia, the hand, the arm, (and if applicable the shoulder) are temporarily numbed. You will remain awake, but will feel no pain. If you are disturbed by the atmosphere in the operating room or by noise and would rather sleep, this is possible by inducing a twilight sleep using a sleeping pill. Alternatively, you can ask for headphones with your favorite music. The numbing material (local anesthetic) in plexus anesthesia is usually sprayed into the armpit (in shoulder operations, into the neck). It then takes about 30 minutes to take effect. Afterwards, the arm loses feeling and is generally relaxed. As a rule, this situation lasts for 4 hours or longer. During this period, you will remain under our monitoring. Then you may leave the office with a companion.

Other procedures of local anesthesia
These include in particular IV local anesthesia, peridural anesthesia, and nerve block anesthesia of various nerves. Since these are not used as frequently as the other procedures, they will not be discussed in detail here. In each individual case, the anesthesiologist will discuss with you the procedure that he suggests or will ask you about it.

Anesthesia risk
Constant care and very close monitoring by your anesthesiologist have significantly reduced the risk of serious incidents. The risk of serious complications today in many cases is no greater than the risk involved in daily activities at home or in traffic on the street. However,  specific existing diseases, old age, or other circumstances may increase the individual risk. Please discuss your personal risk with the anesthesiologist.

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