What to Expect


Having Surgery?
What to Expect Before, During and After Your Operation and Anesthesia

Before surgery, an anesthesiologist will meet with you and evaluate your medical condition and formulate an anesthetic plan that is right for you.

During surgery, advanced technology is used to monitor your body's functions, and your anesthesiologist must interpret these sophisticated monitors in order to appropriately diagnose, regulate and treat your body while a personalized, delicate balance of anesthetic medications are administered. In some hospitals, nurse anesthetists may assist the anesthesiologists with the monitoring responsibilities. However, it is the anesthesiologist who is responsible for the interpretation of the monitoring, who make educated medical judgments concerning your responses, and when it is and when it is not appropriate to treat you.

After surgery, your anesthesiologist will reverse the effects of the anesthetic medications you receive, and return you to consciousness once again.

Videos: Anesthesia and You

This two-part video series tells you who an anesthesiologist is, what an anesthesiologist does, and how the anesthesiologist is your lifeline to modern medicine before, during and after surgery. ASA encourages you to watch both of these videos and make a note of any questions you may have, then bring them to your next physician visit or when you meet with your anesthesiologist before surgery.


Related Links

>> Who is an Anesthesiologist?

>> Q&A: What You Should Know Before Surgery

>> Anesthesia in Labor & Delivery

>> Smoking & Surgery

>> Pediatric Anesthesiology

>> Seniors and Anesthesia

>> Herbal and Dietary Supplement Use & Anesthesia

>> Obesity and Anesthesia

>> Anesthesia Awareness

Related Articles

Q&A: What You Should Know Before Surgery
A list of things you should keep in mind before any surgery...
Patient Awareness Under General Anesthesia
What is patient awareness under general anesthesia? Awareness under general anesthesia is a rare condition...
Pediatric Anesthesia
When your child needs anesthesia....

Helpful Links

Tips to Help Parents Prepare Children for Surgery

Information on what to expect.

Learn More

Anesthesia Topics Quick Links

Choose a topic:

Featured Video:

Smoking and Surgery
Learn why stopping smoking before surgery can have an impact on your outcome.

Play Video

Things You Should Know Before Surgery

What can I expect.

Learn More

Come Prepared

Ask your anesthesiologist questions about what to expect before, during, and after your procedure.

Get Questions

The ASA does not employ physician anesthesiologists on staff and cannot respond to patient inquiries regarding specific medical conditions or anesthesia administration. Please direct any questions related to anesthetics, procedures or treatment outcomes to the patient’s anesthesiologist or general physician.