An anesthesiologist is a perioperative physician ("peri" meaning "all-around") who provides medical care to each patient through the entirety of the surgical experience from the preoperative assessment visit through postoperative care.
At Wake Forest Baptist Health, anesthesiologists practice in 3 areas:
- Surgical/procedural anesthesia
- Pain management
- Critical care medicine
Your anesthesia care team will consist of a board certified anesthesiologist and either a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or an anesthesia resident or fellow, and a number of highly-trained, skilled nurses and physician assistants (PAs).
Safely giving and managing anesthetics, making our patients comfortable and minimizing their pain are our top priorities. We customize the type and delivery method of anesthesia for our patients and provide careful, continuous monitoring throughout their period of anesthesia.
Your anesthesia care team will:
- Consult with you and your surgeon preoperatively to optimize your surgical and anesthetic experience (preoperative assessment)
- Ensure your comfort during surgery through the use of anesthetics tailored to your specific medical condition and existing health issues (general, regional, local, sedation).
- Continually monitor your vital functions (such as breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, oxygen saturation, and fluid and blood needs) throughout and immediately following surgery or a procedure, making medical decisions on your behalf as necessary
- Manage your care throughout surgery and the immediate postoperative period to make you as comfortable as possible
Our anesthesiologists specialize in specific areas of medicine and the procedures associated with those areas. Those specializations include:
Anesthesia Services for Cardiothoracic and Vascular Procedures
Our cardiothoracic anesthesiologists specialize in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care of adult and pediatric patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery and related invasive procedures. We deal with the anesthesia aspects of care related to surgical cases such as open heart surgery, lung surgery, vascular (blood vessel) surgery, and other operations within the chest.
Anesthesia Service for Digestive Health Procedures
Anesthesia services for gastroenterology procedures are provided by an anesthesia care team, including an anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). We provide a safe, comfortable experience during all of the many procedures that are performed in a gastrointestinal suite, such as endoscopic ultrasound, colonoscopy and endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography.
Anesthesia Services for Neurosurgical Procedures
Our team of anesthesiologists who specialize in neurosurgical anesthesia focus on patients undergoing brain or spinal cord surgery (neurosurgery). The most unique aspect of neurosurgical anesthesia is the need for the patient to be able to emerge quickly when the procedure is finished. We accomplish this by altering the ratios of pain medications and inhalational gases. Greater emphasis on the pain medications helps to wake up both comfortably and fast.
Anesthesia Services for Obstetric Procedures
Our obstetric and gynecologic anesthesiologists care for women before, during, and after labor and delivery. Labor epidural analgesia is provided to approximately 5,000 women annually, and spinal, epidural, and general anesthesia is performed for approximately 2,000 women requiring cesarean delivery each year. We also provide anesthesia for a variety of outpatient and inpatient gynecologic surgical cases.
Anesthesia Services for Outpatient Procedures
Our expert team of anesthesiologists provide anesthesia for a broad range of procedures in surgical specialties such as: general surgery, gynecology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, dental surgery, orthopedics, hand surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry, and urology.
At Wake Forest Baptist, our outpatient procedures are performed in a variety of settings that are designed for allowing your procedure to be done safely and get you back home in a timely manner. Our outpatient sites include the main Medical Center campus, Medical Plaza - Miller, Medical Plaza - Clemmons, Lexington Medical Center and Davie Medical Center.
Anesthesia Services for Pediatric Procedures
Brenner Children’s Hospital houses one of the leading pediatric anesthesia and pain management programs in North Carolina. Our team of board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists have trained thoroughly in both anesthesiology and pediatric anesthesiology to provide expert care for our pediatric patients. We work closely with every medical specialty at Brenner Children’s and are involved in all types of pediatric surgical procedures and disease management – from routine procedures to complex heart surgeries.
Anesthesia Services for General Surgical Procedures (Inpatient Anesthesia)
The dedicated anesthesiologists who staff the inpatient operating rooms care for patients with a wide range of aliments. We specialize in the perioperative care of adults and the elderly undergoing surgery. Our board certified anesthesiologists are adept at caring for patients with complex medical, surgical and traumatic problems. As a level 1 trauma center we assist in caring for the most seriously injured patients in the region 24- hours-a-day.
Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Management
The regional anesthesia and acute pain management team (RAAPM) is a group of anesthesiologists with specific training, expertise and experience in administering regional analgesic to provide post-operative or post-injury pain relief, or complete surgical anesthesia. While all anesthesiologists have training in basic regional anesthesia procedures, the RAAPM doctors generally perform the more complex procedures such as continuous nerve blocks, and then continue to care for these patients by providing acute pain services while they are in the hospital and sometimes after discharge.
If a patient is identified as likely to benefit from an advanced regional anesthetic technique, the RAAPM doctors are contacted and will see the patient on the day of their procedure.
This subspecialty group is also responsible for the education of residents and fellows in regional anesthesia and pain management, and is involved in ongoing research to answer important questions in clinical care.
Some of our anesthesiologists have advanced training and specialize in the treatment of pain, both acute (abrupt onset of short duration) and chronic (ongoing of indefinite duration).
Critical Care Medicine
At Wake Forest Baptist, critical care specialists (called intensivists) provide care to patients in our state-of-the-art adult cardiovascular and pediatric intensive care units. Our intensivists coordinate care along with a highly trained, multidisciplinary team of nurses, respiratory therapists, and support personnel including pharmacists, dieticians, social workers and chaplains.
- Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit