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If you are scheduled for surgery, you may have questions about anesthesia and pain control. Our goal at the Stanford Preoperative Anesthesia Evaluation Clinic is to give you all the information you need to set your mind at ease about the safety of anesthesia and relief of post-surgical discomfort.
As national leaders in preoperative anesthesia evaluation, our doctors work with medically complex and/or frail patients that other providers may decline to treat. We work with thousands of patients each year including many who travel to us from around the country and the world.
We go far beyond the usual history and physical to thoroughly evaluate your medical history and conditions before you have surgery. You can access our services at multiple convenient locations in the Bay Area.
Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic at Stanford Hospital
Anesthesia isn’t just about drifting off to sleep before surgery. Our expert anesthesiologists use the latest techniques – called ‘multi-modal perioperative pain management’--to combine different types of anesthesia for improving your comfort after surgery.
We offer comprehensive pain management using advanced techniques and combinations of therapies, such as general anesthesia combined with regional nerve blocks. When you are comfortable after surgery, you are able to walk earlier and more often. This reduces your risk for developing blood clots and helps improve lung function, which reduces your pneumonia risk.
When you undergo an evaluation for anesthesia, one of our team members will discuss post-operative pain management with you. Learn more about what to expect at your anesthesia preoperative evaluation.
Types of Anesthesia Pain Management
Depending on your current health status and the type of surgery you are having, you and your anesthesiologist may use one or several of these types of anesthesia for pain management:
With general anesthesia, you receive medication to make your whole body go to sleep during surgery. A machine aids your breathing during the operation, and you do not remember anything about the procedure when you wake up.
General anesthesia is safer today than it ever has been. Most people tolerate general anesthesia very well. Our expert anesthesiologists often use general anesthesia in combination with a regional block to better control your pain after surgery.
With a regional block, your anesthesiologist uses numbing medication to block pain around the spinal cord or specific nerve bundles in other areas of the body. With a regional block, you feel no pain in the anesthetized area. The numbing effect of a regional block can last long after you wake up from surgery, keeping you more comfortable.
Our anesthesiologists perform all types of regional anesthesia, including:
Epidural or spinal anesthesia. In this procedure, your anesthesiologist will inject numbing medication in your lower back which blocks pain over a wide region of the body, such as the abdomen and legs.
Peripheral nerve blocks. In this procedure, you receive an injection of numbing medication delivered to targeted nerve bundles, such as those in your shoulder or lower leg, for a surgical procedure.
Often used for minimally invasive procedures like colonoscopy, monitored anesthesia involves giving you medication that puts your brain to sleep but doesn’t affect your ability to breathe on your own. Monitored anesthesia provides a deeper level of unconsciousness than the ‘twilight sleep’ of conscious sedation. You probably will wake up with little memory of your procedure after receiving monitored anesthesia.
What Type of Anesthesia is Right for Me?
When you visit the Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic, our anesthesiologist will discuss various options with you in coordination with your anesthesiologist on the day of your surgery.
When choosing a type of anesthesia for you, we take into account your current medical history, your past experience with anesthesia and other factors. We aim to make the anesthesia experience as safe and pleasant as possible for you.
Stanford Health Care is known worldwide for the advanced patient care provided by its doctors and staff. We also provide a wide range of guest services and amenities to our patients and visitors. Learn more about preparing for a hospital stay, billing and financial services, and our other support programs in Patients & Visitors.
We plan to perform a very thorough assessment of your readiness for anesthesia. You can help us in this process by obtaining past and current medical records, test results and films. When we have access to all of this information, we may be able to avoid sending you for additional testing.
Anesthesia Evaluation: What to Bring
Please bring the following to your anesthesia evaluation appointment, if you have them:
Laboratory test results
Cardiac test results, including ECG and stress test results
Contact information for your physician(s)
If you have questions about whether or not you should bring a particular document or test result, please do bring it with you.
You may hand carry these items to your appointment to the clinic where you will have your preoperative evaluation or fax them in advance.
At Stanford, we work with medically complex and frail patients other anesthesia providers decline to treat. While many anesthesia providers won’t evaluate a patient until a surgery date is set, we will see high-risk patients for a consult-only appointment in advance to determine if they meet the necessary criteria to receive anesthesia.
HOW TO REFER
Fax a referral form with supporting documentation to 650-320-9443.
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions, visit Referring Physicians.
At Stanford we understand sometimes even the sickest patients require non-emergent surgery to extend their life or improve their quality of life. If you have questions about your patient’s readiness for anesthesia, or if another provider has declined to treat your patient, the Stanford Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic will evaluate your high-risk patients and make recommendations regarding how to prepare them for anesthesia
Schedule a High-Risk Consult-only Appointment
Surgeons and other providers may make an appointment directly with any of the four Stanford Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Clinic locations. Please advise your patients about what to expect and what to bring with them to their appointment.
What if My Patient Does Not Meet the Criteria for Anesthesia?
If we find your patient is not a candidate for anesthesia, we will work with them to optimize their health to prepare them for anesthesia. We offer:
In-patient optimization for patients that need intensive support
Nutrition counseling when baseline health needs a boost
Other supportive services as required on a per-case basis
Frequent communication with the patient’s surgeon and other medical clinicians to keep everyone informed of the individual’s progress
Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers securely online.