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Anesthesiology

The team of anesthesiologists at Henry Ford Health System are equipped with the skills and experience necessary to bring you the most specialized care. The mission of our anesthesiologists is to provide you with the highest level of comfort and safety before, during and after your procedure.

Specialized care

At Henry Ford, our anesthesiologists are trained in specific areas of anesthesia care. As a patient, you are matched with experts who know your exact condition and will give you the most accurate care. For example, women in labor receive care from obstetric anesthesiologists, whereas heart surgery patients are matched with cardiothoracic anesthesiologists. Across the health system, our anesthesiologists also provide services for a variety of specialty outpatient procedures including cardiac catheterizations, colonoscopies and many more.

Safety standards

The anesthesiologists at Henry Ford, in collaboration with other physicians, pharmacists, nurses and healthcare professionals, continually focus on patient safety and on ways to improve the quality of patient care. Our anesthesiologists follow a variety of safety standards, including the strict protocol on the administering of antibiotics before and after surgery as well as many other precautions.

Surgery care – pre operation

The day before your surgery, a Henry Ford team member will contact you to ask questions regarding your medical and surgical history, medications, side effects or previous complications with anesthesia, and any other preoperative questions as well as confirm your arrival time on the day of your surgery.

Surgery care – day of

The day of your surgery, you will meet with the anesthesiologist and other members of the team to again discuss your medical history and medication use. The anesthesiologist will also explain the plan for delivering anesthesia pre-surgery and what to expect. During surgery, the anesthesiologist will monitor every aspect of your health, including oxygen, organ function and other brain and body functions.

  • You may receive antibiotics, pain medications and/or anti-anxiety medications in preparation for surgery.
    Be prepared to answer many of the same questions more than once before surgery, such as body site of the surgery and any medication allergies. This repetitive process is done to ensure quality and safety.

Surgery care – post operation

After your surgery is complete, you will be taken to the post-anesthesia care unit (recovery room) where the anesthesiology team will continue to care for you and manage any pain and discomfort once you wake from surgery. The anesthesiology team will maintain your comfort until you are ready to be discharged home.

Types of anesthesia

Anesthesia medications differ from patient to patient. The type of anesthesia determined for each patient is based on many factors, including:

  • Patient’s condition
  • Current health state and anesthesia requirements
  • Complexity of the procedure
  • Length of the procedure

Types include: 

  • Local anesthesia

    This type of anesthesia involves injection of an anesthetic medication to numb the location of the body site requiring minor surgery. Example: A specific area of the foot.

  • Regional anesthesia

    Regional anesthesia involves injection of an anesthetic medication near the nerves of the body area for surgery and works to numb an entire area of the body. You may be given a sedative before or may choose to stay awake for the surgery. Example: Epidural anesthesia, which is often used for women in labor.

  • General anesthesia

    Patients undergoing general anesthesia receive the anesthetic medication through a vein and/or in the form of inhaled gases. Once the patient is unconscious, a breathing tube is inserted. During the surgical procedure, the anesthesiologist closely monitors all brain and body functions and maintains proper levels of anesthesia. Example: Any major surgical procedure.

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