Patient FAQs

Most of the following questions are from The American Society of Anesthesiologists website ( These are meant to give you generalized information and guidelines. Please understand that anesthesia is particular to each individual and case, and therefore, may not specifically apply to your procedure.

Are there different kinds of anesthesia?

Is anesthesia safe?

What are the risks of anesthesia?

What type of education and training does an anesthesiologist have?

What is the difference between an anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist?

May I choose my anesthesia provider?

May I request what type of anesthesia I will receive?

Should I continue to take my medications prior to surgery?

Could herbal medicines, vitamins and other dietary supplements affect my anesthesia if I need surgery?

What happens during a preanesthesia visit with my anesthesiologist?

How will my anesthesia provider know how much anesthesia to give me?

Why do I need to have an empty stomach prior to surgery?

Can I smoke cigarettes before I have surgery?

Can I get a pre-operative sedative before I go to surgery?

What are the different types of sedation?

What happens after I lose consciousness during general anesthesia?

When is a breathing tube necessary for surgery?

Will I be nauseated after anesthesia?

What is awareness under anesthesia?