Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at HUP
Critical Care
Obstetrical Anesthesia
Thoracic Anesthesia
Joint Replacement Anesthesia
For Patients: What to Expect


Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

See also:
Penn Pain Medicine Center

Anesthesia Care: What to Expect

The usual sequence of events that patients experience with their anethesiology care is described below. Much personalized contact also occurs during anesthesia care, so the information below is provided as a general outline only.

The inital part of the anesthesia evaluation occurs in the surgeon's office, when the surgeon takes a general medical history and performs a general physical exam. This information provides the initial description of the medical problems, and may indicate that further laboratory tests or medical consultation is necessary before proceeding with anesthesia and surgery.

Prior to surgery, every patient has an opportunity to discuss the planned anesthetic with the individuals providing it. This conversation may occur by telephone, in the hospital room or in a prep area adjacent to the operating rooms.

In many cases, the nature of the surgery or other medical problems dictates the type of anesthesia; but in others, consisderable latitude exists for choosing among anesthetic options. Whenever possible, patient preferences are accommodated.

Many patients arrive the morning of surgery. Specific instructions regarding arrival time and medications is provided by phone the day prior to surgery. You may also wish to review the general preoperative instructions for patients recieving anesthesia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Maps, driving instructions and other visitor information are available:

Because the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center are a teaching hospitals, residents participate in all aspects of anesthesia care, supervised by board-certified attendings. The supervision ratio is 1 faculty member for every 2 residents, or less. Some anesthesia care is provided in conjunction with fully trained nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), who are supervised at a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3. When supervising residents or CRNAs, attending anesthesiologists are in close proximity to the operating rooms and are immediately available.

Following surgery, patients may receive care from anesthesia physicians if they are recovering in one of the Intensive Care Units or if the Pain Management Service is consulted to assist in their care. In these situations as well, physicians in training play an integral role in providing care and attending supervision is provided.


appointment icon

Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.

Related Links
Find an Anesthesiologist
Request an Appointment Online or call
800-789-PENN (7366)
Encyclopedia Articles
Anesthesiology Education and Research Programs




About Penn Medicine   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 800-789-PENN © 2016, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania space