Anesthesia FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions



Who will provide my anesthesia?

A division of the Department of Anesthesiology at Stony Brook University Medical Center provides anesthesia services at the Ambulatory Surgery Center. A team consisting of a board certified anesthesiologist and certified nurse anesthetist or anesthesia resident will care for you. This team approach provides maximum patient safety.

May I choose my anesthesiologist?

Many people today find their doctors through recommendations from either other doctors, or through family and friends. You do have a choice within the Division of Ambulatory Anesthesia but you must make that choice known in advance. Our entire team is excellent and most patients are satisfied with whom they are assigned. Should you have a preference, every effort will be made to honor that request.

Are there different kinds of anesthesia?

There are four main categories of anesthesia; general, regional, monitored anesthesia care and local anesthesia. Please refer to the Anesthesia section for a description of these categories. Regardless of the category of anesthesia that you may receive, special anesthetic agents and techniques are used to provide a safe and speedy recovery. If there are reasonable choices available to you for your surgery, and often there are, you will discuss them with your anesthesiologist before the surgery.

May I request what type of anesthesia I will receive?

Yes, in certain situations. Some operations can be performed using a choice of different anesthetic types. Your anesthesiologist will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history. Your preference will be discussed so that the most appropriate anesthetic plan is made.

Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?

You and your anesthesiologist will develop an anesthetic care plan. This plan will include preoperative sedation and other medications if necessary. Most of our patients will walk in the operating room so we will generally not sedate preoperatively.

What are the risks of anesthesia?

All operations and all anesthetics have risks and they are dependent upon many factors including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Most patients operated on in surgery centers are of the healthier group of patients, and in these circumstances serious complications, while they can occur, are fortunately very rare.

To repeat - the risk of a major complication in an otherwise healthy patient is extremely low. Your anesthesiologist will assess you preoperatively and every precaution will be taken to minimize your risk. Our equipment is the most advanced and up to date. There will be very little in the acute period that we cannot handle as well as the hospital. However, we will routinely see minor problems such as nausea and vomiting, sore throat, dizziness, tiredness, headache, muscle aches, and pain, most of which are easily treated.

Will I be billed separately by the anesthesiologist?

Yes, you will receive a separate bill for your anesthesiologist's professional services, as you will from your other physicians. Stony Brook Anesthesiology, P.C. participates in most health plans. If you have any financial concerns, you may call 631.444.4800. Please see the more detailed topic of the Billing Information on this web site.

May I go into the operating room with my child?

There will be circumstances where it is appropriate for a parent to come into the operating room. Studies and experience show that this decision needs to be individualized and discussed between you and your anesthesiologist. There are many situations where other choices are better and possibly even safer.

Please do not hesitate to discuss your options. Please see the Your Child section of this website.

Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?

You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. This complication is very serious and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations. This has nothing to do with nausea and vomiting after your surgery as some think.

We have very clear policies as to specific times before surgery when you must refrain from eating and/or drinking. These are all based on safety standards. Please note that the standards have been revised recently. We believe that the fasting time should be as short as possible before your surgery. You will not improve your safety by not eating or drinking longer than necessary; in fact, at times you may complicate things a bit.

Children have different fasting schedules than adults - so please check in the Your Child section.

Should I take my usual medications?

You will be instructed by both the anesthesia team and the surgeon as to which medications you must take. Generally we request that you take most medications on the morning of surgery. Yes, you can take them with a sip of water on the day of surgery. PLEASE bring in all your medications with you on the day of surgery.

People using inhalers must bring them to the Center on the day of surgery

Some medications will be stopped for the surgery, particularly diabetes medication and blood thinners. You should bring these medications with you the day of surgery. Please call us with any questions you may have.

May I drive home?

Any patient receiving anesthesia should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home. The few patients who have procedures performed under local anesthesia alone could possibly drive home.

We would strongly recommend that all patients have a ride home and be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk or take public transportation home after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.