William Kemerer, MD
Diplomat-American Board of Anesthesiology
“For some must watch that some might sleep”- Hamlet, Shakespeare
The following information has been prepared to familiarize you with the anesthesia services available at the Blackhawk Surgery Center. You are requested to read this information thoroughly and discuss any questions you might have with Dr. Kemerer preoperatively.
William Kemerer, Blackhawk Anesthesia Anesthesia care involves the provision of a safe and comfortable environment in which the surgeon may best perform the surgical procedure for which you are scheduled. The anesthesiologist directs the creation of this anesthetic state and manages your vital body functions, medical problems that may arise related to surgery, as well as any chronic medical conditions you may have. At the BSC we specialize in the area of anesthetic practice referred to as ambulatory anesthesia. Which uses short acting agents and specialized anesthetic techniques that allow for complete anesthesia with rapid recovery. The exact type of anesthesia depends on your general health, the surgical procedure and the preferences of you, your surgeon and the anesthesiologist. There are four main types of anesthesia:
General - Involves loss of consciousness with inhaled gas.
Regional - Providing loss of sensation to an area of the body.
Local - Providing loss of sensation to a small area.
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) - Sensation of varying depth plus local anesthetic.
Between the time of your scheduled surgery and the day of surgery, you and the anesthesiologist will discuss your anesthetic care. This usually happens the night before or morning of surgery. (If this is not convenient, you are encouraged to call the surgery center at 925-736-5758 during normal business hours and ask to speak with Dr. Kemerer.) Your anesthesiologist will ask you about the proposed surgery, your past medical history, the medicines you take and about any allergies you may have. The anesthetic options, risks, benefits and potential complications will be discussed. Although uncommon, complications or side effects can occur with each anesthetic option even through you are monitored carefully and your anesthesiologist takes special precautions to avoid them. They include, but are not limited to, problems with your breathing, problems related to your cardiovascular system, problems with control of body temperature such as malignant hyperthermia, potential for trauma to various parts of your body, allergic reactions, seizures, infection and even death. You may ask specific questions when talking with your anesthesiologist but recognize the level of risk of overall is about the same as you accept when you enter a car and drive to the store. Finally, you will be asked if you have any questions and reminded that except for taking your regular medicines with a small sip of water, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening prior to your surgery.
One additional pre op consideration applies to women of childbearing age. Before having a surgical procedure and an anesthetic you should feel confident in saying “there is no possibility that I am pregnant.” Though not necessarily dangerous, we encourage you to not electively subject a fetus to the stress of surgery and anesthetic medications. If you have any question that you might be pregnant we will be happy to assist you with appropriate testing.
Once you arrive at the Blackhawk Surgery Center you will be given an attractive hospital gown to wear. A small IV will be started to administer medicines and replace lost bodily fluids. If you have not spoken with your anesthesiologist previously, you will at this time. Next a small sedative, and if indicated, a prophylactic antibiotic will be administered. Once in the operating room, monitors will be placed (EKG, Blood Pressure, Pulse Oximeter) (which continuously reports the oxygen concentration of your blood) and a CO2 monitor- (which continuously reports the exhalation of CO2.) A checklist is performed to insure proper function of these monitors prior to initiating the anesthetic. Although time will go by very quickly because of the sedative or anesthetic medications, your anesthesiologist is present at all times, continuously adjusting the anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety.
You will spend as much time as you need recovering from surgery and anesthesia in our recovery room. Minor after effects you may experience are drowsiness, muscle/joint aches, sore throat, dizziness and headaches. Because pain relief medications comprise a significant part of most anesthetics/sedations you should not awaken in pain. Any discomfort you have will be addressed immediately with extra intravenous pain relief medications. You might be cold when you awaken because anesthetics prevent normal retention of body heat and the operating room is kept cool for infection control reasons. We have special warming blankets to help you recover body heat, so do not hesitate to ask. Lastly, nausea is the body’s natural response to surgical stress even when pain is ameliorated with medications. Our anesthetics are specifically designated to minimize the incidence of nausea and anti-nausea medications are given as well to nearly all patients. While the incidence of nausea has dropped dramatically in recent years, approximately ten percent of all patients will experience some nausea in the post op period. We will treat this side effect aggressively to minimize your discomfort. Remember, these side effects decline with time after surgery, but may take several days before they are completely gone. Many patients do not feel up to typical activities for a few days, due to tiredness and surgical discomfort. Plan to take it easy until you feel back to normal. Anesthetic medications will be completely gone from your system within 24 hours. You should not drive or perform hazardous chores during this time even if you have been lightly sedated.
Your anesthesiologist is a physician who evaluates, ensures safety and comfort, individualizes your anesthesia, supports vital functions and provides pain relief. The Blackhawk Surgery Center requires that anesthesia care be provided only by anesthesiologists who are board certified in anesthesia. Like other medical specialists, a professional fee will be charged separate from surgical and surgical center fees. This reflects the high level of professional care provided.
We at the Blackhawk Surgery Center encourage you to ask us your questions. Your experience will be easier if you know what usually happens and what to expect.