At Penn Medicine, each patient benefits from an individualized anesthesia plan.

There is, however, a common sequence of events. The initial part of the anesthesia evaluation occurs in the surgeon's office, when the surgeon takes a 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, you will have an opportunity to discuss the planned anesthetic with the members of our team who will provide it. This conversation may occur by telephone, in the hospital room, or in a prep area adjacent to the operating rooms.

Often, the nature of the surgery or other medical problem dictates the type of anesthesia to be used. In other instances, it is possible to choose among anesthetic options. Whenever possible, your preferences will be accommodated.

Many patients arrive the morning of surgery. You will receive specific instructions by phone the day before surgery regarding arrival time and medications.

Maps, driving instructions and other visitor information are available:

Because the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center are teaching hospitals, resident physicians participate in all aspects of anesthesia care, supervised by board-certified attending anesthesiologists. The supervision ratio is one faculty member for every two 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, you may receive care from anesthesia physicians if you are recovering in one of the Intensive Care Units or if the Pain Management Service is consulted to assist in your care. In these situations, physicians in training also play an integral role in providing care and attending supervision is provided.

  • Critical Care

    Penn’s Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care delivers expert care to critically injured or perioperative patients.

  • Obstetrical Anesthesia

    Penn’s Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care is dedicated to providing pregnant women and their babies with the best care during labor and delivery.

  • Neuroanesthesia

    Penn’s Division of Neuroanesthesia provides the highest level of anesthesia care for neurosurgical procedures.

  • Thoracic Anesthesia

    Penn’s Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care delivers anesthesia care to those undergoing procedures on the lungs, airways, chest and esophagus.

  • Joint Replacement Anesthesia

    Penn anesthesiologists and orthopaedic surgeons work together with the perioperative care team to ensure the best joint replacement experience possible.

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