Baptist Medical Group Anesthesiology

An anesthesiologist is a physician who keeps patients safe and comfortable during surgery and recovery. When patients enter the operating room, the anesthesiologist stays by their side until they are stable in recovery.

What do Baptist Medical Group anesthesiologists do?

Baptist Medical Group anesthesiologists are responsible for monitoring patients while they are under some form of anesthesia, whether in or out of the operating room (depending on the procedure). This includes monitoring:

  • Heart rhythm
  • Blood pressure
  • Amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Body temperature
  • Level of consciousness
  • Breathing
  • Volume of blood the heart is pumping (in some cases)
  • Neurological function (in some cases)

The anesthesiologist will not only make sure the patient is under the right type of anesthesia but will also help the patient recover from any medication-related problems that occur during surgery. This includes low blood pressure, substantial blood loss, inadequate blood flow to the heart, heart arrhythmia and more. Following the surgery, the anesthesiologist works with the post-anesthesia care nurse to ensure the patient is safe and comfortable.

Types of Anesthesia

Baptist Medical Group anesthesiologists determine which type of anesthesia is right for each patient based on the patient's unique health factors. Common types of anesthesia include the following:

  • Local anesthesia. This type of anesthesia is given to temporarily stop the sensation of pain in a small area of the body. When a patient receives local anesthesia, they remain conscious. Local anesthesia is often used for minor surgery and is administered through injection to the incision site.
  • Regional anesthesia. Similar to local anesthesia, regional anesthesia is an injection used to numb a region of the body. Regional anesthesia can numb a much larger area than local anesthesia. There are several forms of regional anesthesia. They include spinal anesthesia (used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal or lower extremity surgery) and epidural anesthesia (used for surgery of the lower limbs and during childbirth).
  • General anesthesia. When a patient needs to be unconscious during surgery, general anesthesia is used. The anesthetic usually is inhaled through a breathing mask or administered through an intravenous (IV) line. A breathing tube may be inserted into the patient's windpipe to maintain proper breathing during the surgical procedure.