It is very important that you do not eat anything for at least 8 hours before your surgery. Anything you eat could come up from your stomach and get into your lungs while you are anesthetized. People have died from this serious complication. That’s why we make such a big deal about it. You may drink up to 8 ounces of water, soda or clear juice up to 2 hours before you check in. No milk or dairy products! Clear liquids are rapidly absorbed from your stomach.

  • Take your morning medications with a sip of water, except for diuretics and diabetes medicines.
  • Minimize make-up. Eye make-up can end up in your eyes and make-up base can make it difficult to securely tape breathing tubes in place.

After You Check in

Once your pre-op nurse has you ready for surgery in the pre-operative area, you will meet your anesthesiologist. We only staff board-certified and board-eligible MD anesthesiologists at Lakeside Women’s Hospital. We do not use any advanced practice nurses (CRNAs / nurse anesthetists) to do anesthesia. This is a luxury offered by fewer and fewer hospitals these days. Your anesthesiologist will visit with you about your health history and about what to expect before and after your anesthetic. If he or she asks to look at your throat, it is for the purpose of judging how easy or difficult it might be to place a tube in your windpipe, should that be necessary to keep you safe. When he or she is done with the evaluation, you will be given an opportunity to ask questions regarding your anesthetic. Once your questions have been answered, we will leave the pre-op area and meet you in the operating room at the appointed time.


Most of our surgeries done in the operating room at Lakeside Women’s Hospital are done under general anesthesia. General Anesthesia is where the patient is completely unconscious and insensitive to all pain and remembers nothing during the anesthetic. The following explains what you should expect to happen with a general anesthetic.

Your operating room nurse will accompany you to the operating room. Your anesthesiologist will meet you there and assist with hooking up your vital sign monitors. He or she will then give you some sedative medication through your IV. These sedatives usually consist of midazolam (Versed) and fentanyl. midazolam is similar to Valium and fentanyl is similar to morphine. Sometimes these drugs sting a little in the vein where your IV is. You may not remember anything else about what goes on in the OR after this point because midazolam is an amnestic, meaning it makes you forget. The next step is for the anesthesiologist to give the sleep drug in your IV. This is almost always Propofol, which is the standard anesthetic induction drug in the United States and Europe. Propofol may also sting in the IV. Within 30 seconds of receiving the Propofol, you will be anesthetized and will not remember anything else until you awaken in the PACU (Post-anesthetic Care Unit).

While you are anesthetized, your anesthesiologist will stay at the head of the bed with you and keep a close eye on your vital sign monitors. These monitors include EKG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, and expired CO2. Other monitoring may be added as dictated by the patient’s needs and the degree of difficulty of the surgery.

IV Sedation
Some procedures at Lakeside Women’s Hospital can be done with IV sedation. These include Colonoscopies and EGDs. In these cases, your experience will be very similar to that of a general anesthetic, except you may have some memory of what goes on in the operating room or procedure room during your procedure.

Spinal Block
Some procedures that involve the lower part of the body can be done with a spinal block. Other than for C-sections and Cervical Cerclages, it isn’t usually very practical to do spinal blocks for most outpatient surgeries because the block takes about 3 hours to wear off, requiring the patient to stay in recovery (PACU) significantly longer than is necessary for a general anesthetic, thereby delaying the patient from going home. For more information on spinal blocks, you may read the section “Anesthesia for C-sections” on this site. If you think a spinal block would be best for your procedure, discuss it with your anesthesiologist during your pre-op consultation the day of surgery.


When your surgery is finished, you will wake up in the recovery room (PACU) where you will meet your recovery room nurse. She will be responsible for tending to all of your needs while in the PACU, including giving you medication for pain and nausea. Once you are fully awake, your pain and nausea are controlled, you will be able to either go home or go to your hospital room.