Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Bluhm, Dr. Dorsch, and Dr. Vandervort are unique among the dental/surgical specialties in regards to anesthesia training. During their residency, every oral and maxillofacial surgeon receives formal anesthesia training with the anesthesia department in the hospital. There, they are taught the necessary skills to safely administer anesthesia.
These skills include IV sedation, airway management, general anesthesia, and intubation techniques. As part of our safety requirements, all of our doctors maintain certification in advanced cardiac life support, and all staff members are CPR certified. We follow the protocols and guidelines set forth by the state medical and dental regulatory boards. By doing so, our Ashburn and Leesburg offices are regularly inspected. We also regularly run emergency drills to be sure we are prepared for any problems that may arise.
Many people can have their procedures completed using a local anesthetic to “numb” the area for comfort. For those who wish to be sedated so that they are unaware of the surgery, we also offer oral and IV sedation as well as general anesthesia. Ambulatory anesthesia involves administering medications in the office that will either induce general anesthesia where the individual is totally asleep or sedation where the individual is in a state of semi-consciousness. All anesthesia is administered by our oral and maxillofacial surgeons. In longer or more complex cases, we may choose to have a board certified anesthesiologist come to our office and administers the anesthesia.
During the initial consultation at Loudoun Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, you and one of our doctors will discuss the type of procedure required, your medical history, and the level of anxiety you feel about the procedures. Some procedures, due to their nature, require the use of IV sedation or general anesthesia, whereas other treatments are best accomplished under local anesthesia. Choosing anesthesia is always a personal decision and should only be made after an informative consultation with one of our doctors. During the initial consultation, you will also be given instructions on how to prepare for surgery such as: not eating or drinking for eight hours prior to surgery, taking all of your normal medications with just a sip of water, wearing warm, loose, and comfortable clothing, bringing an escort with you, and making any necessary arrangements for your recovery at home.
The medications that we use for sedation and general anesthesia will persist in the blood stream for up to 24 hours following the procedure. Therefore, it is understood that you WILL NOT operate machinery or any vehicle for at least 24 hours after receiving ‘general anesthesia’ or being sedated.
Our doctors are available to answer any additional questions you may have in regards to anesthetic use. The benefits of general anesthesia and intravenous (IV) sedation include a decrease in awareness and anxiety during the surgery. This translates into near or total amnesia of the surgery, lack of noise perception, and no pain during the procedure.
Visiting our office on the day of surgery is really no different than having surgery in your own hospital and it is often much more comfortable and less intimidating. We use the same monitoring equipment in our surgical suites and recovery room as those used in the hospitals. When you arrive in our surgical suite, one of our knowledgeable, friendly surgical assistants will connect you to a number of monitors and a small IV will be started.
For your safety, we use several non-invasive monitors that will be attached to you before your treatment. These devices typically include an EKG (electrocardiogram), a blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter (which measures the amount of oxygen in your blood), and a capnograph (which measures exhaled carbon dioxide). We suggest that you wear loose clothing so that we can more easily use and attach these important devices. Drugs will be administered through the IV to help you to relax or sleep.
Following the surgical procedure, the IV will be removed and you will recover either in the surgical suite or in a separate recovery area. At this time, our recovery room assistant will review all of your post-operative instructions with you and your escort as well as answer any questions either of you may have. Your doctor is always available and he can also answer any emergency questions you may have about your care following your surgery.