Pre Anesthesia Screening

Before surgery, it is important to schedule a pre-anesthesia screening to ensure a safe procedure. MaineHealth providers offer comprehensive information about pre-anesthesia screenings, so that patients are well-prepared for surgery. During some surgical procedures, your doctor may give you medicine called anesthesia, which reduces or prevents pain. The three main types of anesthesia are:

  • Local anesthesia, which numbs one small area of the body.
  • Regional anesthesia, which blocks pain in an area of the body, such as an arm or leg.
  • General anesthesia, which makes you unconscious. You do not feel any pain, and you do not remember the procedure later.

What is a pre-anesthesia screening?

A pre anesthesia screening is done to identify any possible risks before you receive the anesthesia and also discuss which type of anesthesia you will be given. The screening will include an anesthesia evaluation. All important information about your health history and family history, including any problems with anesthesia and allergies, must be given to the anesthesiologist and surgery team. You will need to let your surgeon know if you are on blood thinners, or if you have a cold, fever, or change in your medical condition during the week before your surgery.

Pre-anesthesia screening instructions

After scheduling and pre-registering for surgery, the pre-admission screening office will mail you your appointment to meet with the anesthesia nurse practitioner and the pre-operative nurse. Your surgeon may decide that a phone call appointment will take care of this instead. In that case, a pre-admission nurse will call you about a week before your surgery. During your phone call appointment, a nurse will ask you about:

  • Names, doses, and times of your medications
  • Allergies
  • Health problems