Frequently Asked Questions

An anesthesiologist is a doctor and fully licensed physician who specializes in the practice of anesthesia. Anesthesiologists complete four or more years of specialty training in anesthesia after completing four years of medical school to earn a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and at least four years of college work to earn a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.). After school and training, an anesthesiologist has the option to submit to the rigorous testing of the American Board of Anesthesiology. This testing is not required, however, all of our BMW Anesthesiology partner physicians have completed the demanding American Board of Anesthesiology requirements and are board-certified in the specialty of anesthesiology. Our junior associates are working towards this prestigious designation. While some other anesthesia groups delegate your care to assistants, such as nurse anesthetists, your BMW Anesthesiology physician will stay by your side every moment of your surgical procedure. He or she will be personally responsible for your comfort and safety before, during, and immediately after your surgical procedure.

Who are anesthesiologists?

What does an anesthesiologist do?

Your BMW anesthesiologist will personally provide every aspect of your anesthesia care. A common misconception is that anesthesia involves merely giving one shot of medication. This is not the case. Along with administering and tailoring your anesthetic medications for your comfort throughout your entire procedure, your anesthesiologist will also continuously manage your vital functions to ensure your safety and speedy recovery. Your anesthesiologist will optimize critical body functions such as breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and body temperature. He or she will also balance fluid and blood replacement as needed. Your BMW anesthesiologist will diagnose and provide treatment for new medical problems that may arise. He or she will also manage changes in your existing medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and conditions of the heart, lung, kidney, liver and nervous system.
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General Anesthesia
General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia. This type of anesthesia involves a controlled loss of consciousness using combinations of inhaled anesthesia gases and intravenous medications. During some surgical procedures, your breathing is assisted or completely controlled by your anesthesiologist using a combination of techniques which may include the use of a face mask, laryngeal mask airway, breathing tube, and sometimes the ventilator (breathing machine). During some minor procedures, such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, and cataract surgery, you can most often continue breathing on your own with simple supplemental oxygen. The exact techniques and medications used are variable and depend on the type of procedure and your unique medical condition.​

Spinal/Epidural Anesthesia
Your anesthesiologist may place numbing and pain medications near the nerves in the spinal column by an injection in your back. When numbing medication is used, your legs and lower torso will experience a temporary loss of sensation and decrease in muscle movement. Most patients receive a light to moderate sedative to decrease anxiety prior to the spinal/epidural procedure. After the spinal/epidural procedure, your anesthesiologist will usually deepen your sedation for the surgery based on your existing medical conditions and preferences. With spinal/epidural anesthesia, patients sometimes maintain breathing on their own without a breathing tube. In some cases, a spinal/epidural is used to supplement your general anesthetic, where it is of great value in reducing the amount of pain and anesthetic medications required during and after surgery. When indicated, a pain medication lasting almost 24 hours may be added to a spinal injection. If an epidural infusion is utilized for pain relief after surgery, you can expect to maintain partial sensation and muscle movement during the time that the medications are in effect.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
MAC is used during procedures that do not require deep sedation and during procedures in which the operative area can be easily numbed by a local anesthetic injection. In this situation, the primary role of your anesthesiologist is the monitoring and support of your vital functions. When appropriate, your anesthesiologist may administer medications to keep you relaxed and comfortable. Even though many patients will not recall the details of the procedure at a later date, the expectation during MAC is that patients will remain responsive to verbal prompting. Your anesthesiologist will be prepared to handle vital function emergencies and place you under general anesthesia if necessary to maintain your safety.

Nerve Block Anesthesia
Your anesthesiologist may inject numbing medicine near clusters of nerves to create a nerve block. Most patients receive light to moderate sedative to decrease anxiety before the nerve block procedure. Nerve blocks are often paired with either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation depending on your surgical procedure, existing medical conditions, and your preferences.

What are the types of anesthesia?

Physician anesthesiologists have made significant advances in the field of anesthesiology over the last several decades. Today’s anesthetics and techniques are much safer and have fewer side effects than those used in the past. Highly trained anesthesiologists and sophisticated vital function monitors with alarm systems give modern anesthesia an excellent safety profile. As with many of our daily activities, there is always some risk involved, but undergoing surgery and anesthesia is statistically safer than many routine activities such as driving a car. The risk for you depends on your medical conditions and the planned operation. For some patients, any form of anesthesia and surgery can pose a significant danger. Discussing your specific concerns with your anesthesiologist is essential. This discussion will involve an anesthetic plan tailored for you that may include additional precautions or monitors. He or she will be upfront with you and your family in explaining any increased risk specific to you.​​​​​​

How safe is anesthesia?

After surgery, your anesthesiologist will bring you to a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), recovery room or intensive care unit. Your anesthesiologist will give a detailed verbal report that includes your medical history, the medications you have recently received, and the details of your operative course to a specialized post-anesthesia or intensive care nurse. Under the direction of your anesthesiologist, your nurse will continue to monitor your vital signs and keep you safe and comfortable by administering any treatment ordered by your anesthesiologist for pain, nausea or other problems if they arise. Your nurse can readily contact your BMW anesthesiologist at any time. The amount of time a patient stays in the PACU is highly variable and can be affected by administrative factors such as hospital room availability. Visitors are not allowed in the PACU. The surgeon usually contacts loved ones at the completion of the surgery. Your nurse will inform your family members when and where they can visit you when your room assignment becomes available. Please do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive a car, operate dangerous machinery, or make important decisions for 24 hours after receiving anesthesia. If you have sleep apnea and wear a positive pressure mask, it is vital for you to wear your mask while you sleep after you have received anesthesia or pain medications. 

What happens after surgery?

You will receive a bill for your anesthesiologist’s professional service separate from the hospital’s and surgeon’s bill. Your anesthesiologist is not an employee of any hospital or surgery center. BMW Anesthesiology is a division of U.S. Anesthesia Partners, a national, highest quality anesthesia practice. As a service to you, U.S. Anesthesia Partners will submit your claim to your designated insurer. We recognize that your anesthesiologist was chosen for you by your surgeon. Therefore if your surgeon is in your network, U.S. Anesthesia Partners will work with your insurer to reconsider your claim at your in-network benefit level. As with any physician, your anesthesiologist expects you to pay co-pays and deductibles that are applied by your insurer. If you do not have health insurance, you will be contacted by U.S. Anesthesia Partners to discuss your payment options. If you have financial concerns or have questions about your bill, please don’t hesitate to call U.S. Anesthesia Partners at 972-715-5080.

Will I receive a separate bill from the anesthesiologist?

You will receive a bill for your anesthesiologist’s professional service separate from the hospital’s and surgeon’s bill. Your anesthesiologist is not an employee of any hospital or surgery center. BMW Anesthesiology is a division of U.S. Anesthesia Partners, a national, highest quality anesthesia practice. As a service to you, U.S. Anesthesia Partners will submit your claim to your designated insurer. We recognize that your anesthesiologist was chosen for you by your surgeon. Therefore if your surgeon is in your network, U.S. Anesthesia Partners will work with your insurer to reconsider your claim at your in-network benefit level. As with any physician, your anesthesiologist expects you to pay co-pays and deductibles that are applied by your insurer. If you do not have health insurance, you will be contacted by U.S. Anesthesia Partners to discuss your payment options. If you have financial concerns or have questions about your bill, please don’t hesitate to call U.S. Anesthesia Partners at 972-715-5080.

Will I receive a separate bill from the anesthesiologist?