Skip to Content


Discover how anesthesia at the VA ensures the safety and comfort of Veterans during surgical procedures. Learn about personalized care, skilled providers, and post-operative support for a smooth recovery.

At the VA, anesthesia plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of Veterans undergoing surgical procedures. 

Skilled anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) provide personalized anesthesia care, tailoring their approach to the specific needs of each individual. Whether it's general anesthesia for complete unconsciousness or regional and local anesthesia for targeted areas, the VA prioritizes patient well-being throughout the surgical journey. 

With a focus on patient safety, effective pain management, and post-operative care, the VA's anesthesia services strive to provide Veterans with a smooth and successful surgical experience.

Program Overview

  • The VA offers various types of anesthesia, including general, regional, and local anesthesia.
  • Anesthesia is administered by skilled anesthesiologists or CRNAs who prioritize patient safety and comfort.
  • Personalized anesthesia plans are developed considering Veterans' medical history and specific conditions.
  • Potential risks and side effects of anesthesia are explained, and the VA healthcare team closely monitors patients during and after surgery.
  • The recovery period after anesthesia is tailored to each individual and includes appropriate post-operative care.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What types of anesthesia are used at the VA?

    • The VA utilizes various types of anesthesia, including general anesthesia, regional anesthesia (such as spinal or epidural anesthesia), and local anesthesia, depending on the procedure and patient's needs.
  2. How is anesthesia administered at the VA?

    • Anesthesia is administered by skilled anesthesiologists or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) at the VA. They carefully monitor patients' vital signs and adjust anesthesia levels to ensure comfort and safety during surgical procedures.
  3. Will I be awake during surgery with anesthesia at the VA?

    • The type of anesthesia administered determines whether you will be awake during surgery. General anesthesia induces a state of unconsciousness, while regional or local anesthesia may allow you to remain awake but numb in the targeted area.
  4. What are the potential risks and side effects of anesthesia?

    • While anesthesia is generally safe, there are potential risks and side effects, which can vary depending on the individual and the type of anesthesia used. Common side effects may include drowsiness, nausea, sore throat, or muscle aches post-surgery. Serious complications are rare but can include allergic reactions or adverse reactions to medications.
  5. How is anesthesia personalized for Veterans with specific medical conditions?

    • Anesthesia providers at the VA consider Veterans' medical history, current health status, and any existing conditions to personalize the anesthesia plan. They collaborate with the surgical team to ensure safe and effective anesthesia management for each individual.
  6. What can I expect during the recovery period after anesthesia at the VA?

    • The recovery period after anesthesia varies depending on the type of anesthesia used and the nature of the procedure. The VA healthcare team will provide post-operative care instructions and monitor your recovery to ensure a smooth transition back to health.

Anesthesia Resources

  1. VA Office of Research & Development - Anesthesia Research
  2. National Anesthesia Service
  3. Anesthesiology Subject Guide
  4. Veterans Health Library - Before You Receive Anesthesia