What job does an anesthesiologist perform during surgery?

An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor trained to administer the medications that will take you "under" and block any feeling of pain or unpleasant sensations you might otherwise experience during a surgery. Your anesthesiologist is involved in your care before, during, and after surgery. He or she may do a medical evaluation before your surgery to determine an anesthesia plan tailored for you. During surgery, the anesthesiologist oversees life support and pain control. And after the surgery, he or she also provides life support, including intensive care management if needed. If time allows before surgery, you should discuss the anesthetic plan, as well as alternatives, risks and benefits of the chosen anesthetic techniques, with the anesthesiologist.
During surgery, your anesthesiologist is responsible for managing vital life functions, including breathing, heart rhythm and blood pressure while administering anesthesia. Throughout surgery, your anesthesiologist makes medical judgments and is responsible for the management of your physical condition. The anesthesiologist may be assisted by other medical personnel. Should you develop any medical problems during surgery, your anesthesiologist will immediately diagnose and treat them. In addition, should your condition require special care in the recovery room, it is most likely that the physician who treats you will be your anesthesiologist.

Continue Learning about Anesthesia for Surgical Procedures

What is anesthesia awareness?
Yael S. Varnado-Rhodes, MDYael S. Varnado-Rhodes, MD
Anesthesia awareness is when a patient wakes up or moves while under anesthesia, during a surgical p...
More Answers
How can I help prevent having anesthesia awareness?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Here are some activities that can help you stay asleep during surgery.Meet your anesthesiologist. If...
More Answers
What are possible side effects of anesthesia in children?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
Although anesthetics can provide complete pain relief and loss of consciousness during an operation,...
More Answers
Why might my child have regional anesthesia during surgery?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
It has become possible to provide pain relief to specific areas of the body rather than give general...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.