Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
If you are having an operation, you may be given general anesthesia to put you to sleep and keep you free from pain.
Your doctor may recommend general anesthesia for a procedure that is extensive, takes a long time, or requires you to be in an uncomfortable position.
Before your procedure, an IV line will be placed in a vein in your arm using a small tube called a cannula.
The IV will deliver fluid and medications directly into your bloodstream.
You may receive some medication to help you relax.
You will be placed on the operating table and made as comfortable as possible.
A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to check your blood pressure readings.
Sticky pads will be placed on your chest to check your heart rate, and a clip will be put on your finger to check your body’s oxygen levels.
These devices allow the anesthesia specialist to closely monitor your vital signs before, during and after your procedure.
You will begin receiving general anesthesia by either breathing anesthetic gases through a mask
or through IV injection which will cause you to "fall asleep".
Once you are asleep, you will be given a mixture of oxygen and anesthetic gases either through your mask
or through a special tube inserted through your mouth and into your windpipe.
The tube is attached to a respirator, which helps you breathe while delivering the gases to your lungs.
Deep in your lung tissues, the gases are absorbed into your blood stream and carried by blood cells to your brain.
The anesthesia prevents your brain from receiving messages from nerves in your body.
As a result, you will remain asleep and pain-free during your procedure, and you will have no memory of it when you wake up.
After your operation, the anesthesia specialist will give you medications to reverse the anesthesia, and you will awaken quickly.
If you had a breathing tube in place, he or she will remove it as soon as you can safely breathe on your own.
You will be taken to the recovery room where you will be closely monitored and given pain medication as needed.
You may feel light headed and slightly disoriented, but this feeling should pass quickly.
Once you are stable, you will be sent to a hospital room or home.