Although some procedures can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation during most procedures you will be receive a general anesthetic. The anesthesiologist ensures that you are completely asleep (anesthetized) and have no pain. Your anesthesiologist assures the adequate functioning of your heart rate and rhythm, your blood pressure and blood flow, and your breathing, thus ensuring the safety of you and your vital organs. In the operating suite, it is the anesthesiologist who is responsible for fluid and blood replacement. To monitor these vital functions he uses various modern technologies which he installs before the operation on your heart begins.
Typical times for hemodynamic procedures under general anesthesia are approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, although certain procedures can take approximately 4 hours.
In most cases, you will be seen by an anesthesiologist in the preoperative clinic so that he may evaluate your condition and ensure that the anesthetic will be tailored to your specific medical conditions and procedure. At this time you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed for you before you are brought to the operating room. You will be brought to the operating room after having an intravenous placed and antibiotics started.
In the operating room monitors for heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and oxygen in the blood will be placed. Intravenous lines allowing medication delivery and fluid replacement are placed. During cases under general anesthesia, you will then be anesthetized (made to sleep). Once under anesthesia a breathing tube will be placed in your trachea and you will be placed on the respirator. If needed for your procedure, an echocardiography probe will then be placed in your esophagus to monitor heart functioning during the procedure and to evaluate the results of the surgery once it has been completed. Your procedure will then take place while you are under the careful surveillance and care of the anesthesiologist and his assistant.
You will awake from your anesthesia in the operating suite where your procedure is performed a few minutes after it has been completed. You will spend approximately one hour in the recovery room. After ensuring there have been no untoward effects from the procedure or anesthesia you will be transferred to your hospital room. The possible side effects from your anesthesia include nausea and vomiting, pruritis, dizziness, drowsiness and sore throat. Although complications from the anesthetic are possible, serious events are, now, very rare. Be assured, your anesthesia team is with you throughout your procedure to ensure your safety and comfort!