The physicians in the Anesthesia Department at Swedish provide high-quality anesthetic care for the full range of surgical, obstetrical and diagnostic procedures, as well as evaluation and management of acute- and chronic-pain syndromes.

The department provides 24-hour, in-house coverage of the birthing unit and surgical emergencies and has anesthesiologists available 24 hours a day who specialize in cardiac and pediatric care.

There are three basic categories of anesthesia: local, regional and general. Talk with your anesthesiologist about which type will work best for you.

  • Local anesthesia blocks feelings of pain at the site where surgery is performed. It numbs a small part of your body, and is frequently used for procedures such as biopsies, hernia repairs and eye surgeries. Sometimes, additional medication may be given for its calming effect.
  • Regional anesthesia blocks pain in a larger portion of the body. A spinal anesthetic, for example, will block pain in the lower body and could be used during procedures ranging from bladder to prostate to knee surgery. Patients may also be given additional medication to help calm them.
  • General anesthesia produces a state of unconsciousness in patients. It can be used in all types of surgeries, both major and minor.

Anesthesiologists work to provide the safest possible pain relief for patients and the best operating conditions for surgeons. During surgery, your anesthesiologist will be responsible for regulating your anesthesia, monitoring your vital functions and taking care of your overall medical well-being.