The Person behind the Mask

The anesthesiologist is an important participant on the peri-operative team. He/she is the person behind the mask.

Without anesthesia there would be no surgery. The pain and suffering would be unbearable. The torture would lead to severe complications of stress, shock, and no doubt an on-toward out-come. Anesthesia changed the history of medicine. From the days of painful procedures, to the administration of ether and into today’s sophisticated methods of general anesthesia, regional anesthesia and local anesthesia.

So, who is the person behind the mask?

Meet the person behind the mask and you will find:

An important specialist in peri-operative medicine.

Someone who is responsible to work with the other members of your surgical team in

assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating your care, before, during and after your surgery.

You will have found an expert in Internal Medicine and Critical Care.

You have found an advocate, whose responsibilities are extremely critical to the successful outcome of your surgical experience.

Most importantly, you have found a specialist who will be responsible to safely administer your anesthesia, maintain your vital signs and body systems throughout your surgery, arouse you at the end of surgery and coordinate your care in the recovery area.

Do some research into the training needed to become an anesthesiologist and you will find out that the training is rigorous,

It includes:

Four years of college

Four years of medical school training to become a doctor of medicine.

Four years of training in an anesthesia residency program.

After these twelve years of training some anesthesiologists do extended training for two more years in a specialty, such as, critical care, obstetrics/labor and delivery, pediatrics, geriatrics or pain management, research and trauma care.

On becoming board certified you become a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology.

As one of your patient advocate and a member of your surgical team your anesthesiologist’s responsibilities are critical in your surgical care.

What are some of the anesthesiologists responsibilities?

Administration of anesthesia and the surgical procedure bring about certain changes and effects on the systems of your body. They will affect your skin changes, temperature, blood circulation, your respiratory and nervous systems, heart rate, blood pressure and laboratory readings.

Your anesthesiologist is responsible to continuously monitor, assess, evaluate and maintain your vital signs within the normal limits.

Your anesthesiologist is responsible to collaborate with your surgeon and the rest of the surgical team for the plan of action and strategies for a successful surgery.

Your anesthesiologist will discuss with you the choices of anesthesia methods that are available for you and recommend the choice that’s best for you depending on your past medical history, age and other underlying medical conditions.

An explanation of the risks involved in your anesthetic care and how best to reduce these risks.

A through review of your medical records will be done and an in-depth interview regarding your medical history.

All necessary tests will be ordered and reviewed and evaluated. Example, X Rays, EKG,

Laboratory tests and other necessary tests based on your medical history.

Your anesthesiologist is responsible for your safety, comfort and the continuous monitoring of your vital signs and systems during the procedure and coordinating your post operative care in the post anesthetic unit.

The person behind the mask plays a key role in the success of your surgical experience.

Become an informed and proactive patient regarding your surgical care and get to know the person behind the mask.