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That question often causes much anxiety for patients and usually does not get answered fully until the actual retrieval day when they talk to the Anesthesia provider.

Anesthesia provokes many reactions in people including fear, anxiety, nervousness and sometimes on occasion, excitement. All of those reactions are perfectly normal, but today, I want to explain the Anesthesia we provide at Carolina Conceptions (MAC) so that you can come informed and prepared for your egg retrieval.

In the world of Anesthesia we have 3 major types:

  • General Anesthesia: This is what most people are familiar with, and is used in surgeries that require full relaxation of all your muscles and assisted ventilation. In general anesthesia you will not remember, hear or feel anything during the surgery. This type comes with the most risk and is not needed for procedures completed at Carolina Conceptions.
  • Regional Anesthesia: I describe this as “numbing.” It is used often in childbirth, orthopedic and distal extremity cases. It also has no use at Carolina Conceptions, and would never be an option.
  • MAC or Monitored Anesthesia Care: The spectrum of procedures that MAC is appropriate for is quite large, and the “level” of MAC can be quite vast. Level is merely how we refer to how unconscious you are during the procedure. Different procedures carry different level requirements. For your safety, MAC Anesthesia is what we use exclusively at Carolina Conceptions.

So that you are prepared on your day of retrieval here is a short step by step of what you
can expect. Once you are checked in at the front of the office we will bring you back to the pre-op chair and give you a gown to change into. We will discuss your medical history and your anesthesia plan. An IV will be started, which all of your anesthesia will be provided through during the procedure.

You will walk yourself into the procedure room and help us position you for safety and comfort. We will place some monitors on you and give you some oxygen to breathe through a soft nasal cannula. Once your retrieval physician is in the room, we will start to deliver your anesthesia. Your anesthesia provider is with you the entire time of the procedure and monitors you from heart beat to heart beat.

After the procedure you will walk yourself back to the same chair you started in, and from there, spend 15-20 minutes recovering. Once recovered we will take the IV out, give you discharge instructions and send you home.

Although MAC is the safest form of anesthesia, it carries one major difference to its counterpart, general anesthesia. That difference is you could possibly remember something about the procedure. Those memories are usually short and often consist of hearing a voice, or remembering a conversation, not of discomfort or pain. More often than not, our patients report that they remember nothing about the procedure and rarely remember walking out of the procedure room to recovery.

I hope this helps ease some anxiety by explaining Anesthesia and the type we use for retrievals at our facility. I look forward to meeting you and helping you through the process comfortably.

Tim Suttles, MSN CRNA