Under the Mask: A Guide to Feeling Secure and Comfortable During Anesthesia and Surgery
by James Cottrell and Stephanie Golden
Rutgers University Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-8135-2877-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-6009-0
Library of Congress Classification RD81.C72 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 617.96


Every year, about forty million Americans require surgery. Few truly understand what happens to them during the procedure-especially what the anesthesiologist does to ensure their survival and well being. An anesthesiologist disarms your entire nervous system with the most effective drugs for your body chemistry; keeps you alive while you're subjected to manipulations that would otherwise kill you; and ensures your safe return to consciousness. Yet despite their crucial role, anesthesiologists are often the unseen doctors. Under the Mask, written by a compassionate practitioner, demystifies the surgical process with detailed information that will make you a better-informed consumer.

Part One describes the development and current scope of anesthesiology, the medications and techniques used, and what the anesthesiologist does both in and outside the operating room. It explains your-the patient's- rights and advises you how to use the preoperative consultation with the anesthesiologist to your best advantage, specifying what information you need provide and what questions you should ask.

Part Two details the most common surgical and diagnostic procedures requiring anesthesia or conscious sedation. Using clear language, it explains each procedure, the possible risks, and the choices to make if there is more than one option. It also covers the anesthesiologist's crucial role in controlling pain caused by chronic conditions. The last chapter describes the newest anesthetic and pain control techniques available.

The author also helps you understand anesthesiology within the managed care system and explains what you can expect and what to do if you aren't getting what you need. This book enables you to make informed decisions regarding surgical anesthesia and subsequent pain control within the managed care system to protect your well-being and hasten your recovery.

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