Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine

Our Team

Dedicated anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, who have received specialized training and board certification in anesthesia, work together as a team to ensure your comfort and safety during surgery at Emerson Hospital. Their primary roles in the operating room are to ensure that you are comfortable and not aware during surgery, to monitor vital functions of the body, and to make informed decisions to protect you from harm. Typically, this includes monitoring critical life functions such as breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and oxygen level, as well as treating changes in these functions that may occur as a result of surgery and anesthesia.

Patient Safety

Over the past few years, the risks associated with anesthesia have been greatly reduced by improvements in training, advances in monitoring techniques and the development of safer drugs with fewer side effects. You can help the anesthesia team to keep you safe by ensuring that we are aware of your health history and medications, including non-prescription medications and supplements, before the administration of anesthesia.

Prior to surgery

Surgery and anesthesia affect your entire body. It is important for your anesthesia team to know as much as possible about your health history including a complete list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications, diet pills, herbs and other dietary supplements. These may alter your body chemistry or impair the normal functioning of major organ systems. For generally healthy patients undergoing minor procedures, a preliminary interview is conducted over the telephone, and an anesthesiologist will perform a final preoperative assessment on the day of your surgery. However, if you have serious medical issues, are having major surgery or have had significant problems with anesthesia in the past, it will usually be necessary for you to come to the pre-surgical testing clinic several days in advance of your procedure for an interview with a member of the anesthesia department. At this time, your health history and medications will be reviewed, a brief examination may be performed and you will have an opportunity to discuss your options for anesthesia.

You will be given instructions concerning the intake of food, drink and medications before surgery. It is important that these instructions be followed carefully. Failure to do so may result in delay or cancellation of your surgery, or may jeopardize your safety during the procedure.

Types of Anesthesia

Below is a brief description of the different types of anesthesia. The anesthesia team and your surgeon will work with you to determine the best type of anesthesia for you.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists have set up this website for patients to obtain more detailed information about anesthesiology.

Ambulatory Anesthesia

Today’s new, safe, ultra short-acting anesthetic medications and sophisticated monitoring devices enable our highly-skilled anesthesia providers to provide you with the most up-to-date and best medical care possible. As a result, an increasing number of surgical procedures are performed safely on an outpatient basis; you come to the hospital, have surgery and go home—all on the same day. You may continue your recuperation the same day in the comfort of your own home and often avoid costs that insurance might not cover.

Same-day surgery usually is elective and can range in duration from a few minutes to a few hours. Modern anesthetic techniques and drugs are used to enable you to continue your recovery safely at home, whether you have received general anesthesia, regional nerve blocks or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation.

How to contact the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine

If you have questions or concerns, an anesthesiologist is available on a 24-hour basis 7 days/week. On weekdays from 7:00 am – 3:30 pm, please call the Department of Anesthesia at 978-287-3162. Outside of these hours, or in the event of an emergency situation, please call the main Emerson Hospital switchboard at 978-369-1400 and ask the operator to page the anesthesiologist on call.