There are several types of anesthesia methods available in our accredited non-hospital surgical facility (NHSF). The type of anesthesia that will be chosen for you is influenced by many factors including the type of procedure, your level of anxiety, and your current health status. During you consultation, Dr. Bureau will discuss your different options and help you decide the best type of anesthesia for you.

There are three options available:

  1. General Anesthetic (asleep)
  2. Intravenous (IV) Sedation
  3. Local Anesthetic

General Anesthetic

This is the most common form of anesthetic that we use at our office. It is very safe and effective.
During a general anesthetic, a medical anesthesiologist administers inhalation (“gas”) through a mask and medication through an intravenous line (IV). You will be in a state of controlled unconsciousness, unaware of the surgery and you will not feel pain. It also reduces the risk of any involuntary movement by the individual during surgery. This type of anesthesia requires a breathing tube to be placed while you are asleep and is removed before you are awake. Local anesthetic is also used while you are asleep to numb the area. Fasting and an escort are mandatory.

Intravenous Sedation

Medications are administered by a medical anesthesiologist through an intravenous line (IV), which provide relaxation and pain control. Oxygen is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus and your vital signs are closely monitored. Local anesthetic is also used to numb the area. It is important to understand that this technique does not fully diminish one’s awareness of the procedure, so it is possible that you may remember parts of the procedure. It should be noted that in very anxious individuals, this form of anesthesia can be ineffective. Fasting and an escort are mandatory.

Local Anesthetic

You will be completely conscious throughout the procedure. Local anesthesia does not diminish an individual’s awareness of pressure, vibration, and/or noise associated with tooth removal or surgery. Local anesthetic (lidocaine) is administered in the area where the surgery is to be performed, which numbs the area and eliminates pain. Local anesthesia is typically utilized for simple soft tissue procedures or uncomplicated tooth extractions. It may not be effective in certain situations such as a badly infected tooth, a severe gag reflex or severe anxiety. The local anesthetic will generally last for a few hours after the procedure.

How will I be monitored during the surgery?

Your medical anesthesiologist is personally responsible for your comfort and well being throughout the procedure. Blood pressure, pulse rate, ECG and oxygen levels are some of the important vital signs that are monitored during your surgery.

Who will monitor my recovery after surgery?

According to the guidelines established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, all phases of anesthesia, including recovery are supervised. Your anesthesiologist, our 2 registered nurses, and surgeon will monitor your safe recovery. Your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, and respirations) will be constantly observed and documented. You will not be discharged until you meet acceptable criteria, usually within 30 minutes to an hour after surgery.

What emergency protocols are in place IF there is a serious complication?

Our office has the necessary emergency drugs, equipment and protocols in place to care for you in the rare event of a serious complication. Medical anesthesiologists have the specialized medical training to anticipate and treat any complications. All of our registered nurses and doctors have current CPR, ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support). We frequently rehearse emergency drills and scenarios. In rare instances, serious complications may arise that require a patient to be transferred to a hospital. Dr. Bureau has admitting and surgical privileges at all of the Calgary Zone Hospitals.

Will I have any side effects?

The amount of discomfort you experience will depend on a number of factors, especially the type of surgery. With almost all procedures, the patient is given local anesthetic during the procedure so when they wake up they generally are numb in the area. Dr. Bureau and/or the registered nurses can relieve pain after your surgery with medication given by mouth, IV or by adding additional local anesthetic. Your discomfort should be tolerable, but do not expect to be totally pain-free.

Nausea or vomiting may occur after anesthesia or with post-operative medications. Medications to minimize postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting are often given by your anesthesiologist during the surgical procedure and in recovery. You may experience a sore throat and/or nosebleed related to the breathing tube placed under a general anesthetic, which usually resolves quickly.

What can I expect in terms of recovery?

Prior to discharge the nurses will review post-operative instructions, provide you with gauze and answer any questions you may have.
Patients often experience drowsiness and minor after-effects following ambulatory anesthesia, including body / muscle aches, sore throat and occasional dizziness or headaches. Nausea also may be present, but vomiting is less common. Plan to take it easy for a few days until you feel back to normal. Please remember not to drive or operate machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia.

Be sure to follow the instructions given to you. These instructions are important to permit the fastest, safest, and most pleasant recovery possible.

The office will call you the next business day after your procedure. If you have any question, please feel free to call our office at Calgary Office Phone Number 403-286-2551.