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(877) 359-9179

4800 S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959


Hospitalized patients often need relief from pain, discomfort and anxiety. At The Outer Banks Hospital, we use a care team approach to anesthesia services. In most cases, a physician trained in anesthesia will be in charge of and responsible for the anesthesiology services. The doctor may provide that care directly or with a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) - a nurse who has completed advanced training in anesthesia and related procedures.

The CRNA, working under the direction of a physician, will stay with you during your procedure. The physician will be present and involved in the most critical aspects of your care including going to sleep and waking up from anesthesia. The physician is available at all times to address any problems you may have.

Please talk with your anesthesia provider if you need additional information.

What types of anesthesia are available?

Three types of anesthesia available are:

  • Regional
  • General
  • Conscious sedation

Regional anesthesia or nerve block

You may get a nerve block in addition to general anesthesia to decrease pain. You will not go to sleep, but you may fall asleep from time to time. Regional anesthesia makes an area of the body numb. Injection is made near the nerve that affects that area of the body. The medicine may be injected into the skin or a muscle in the area of the procedure and may or may not be used with an IV.

General anesthesia

  • Makes you unconsious or asleep
  • Uses several medicines to make you sleep, relax muscles and control vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure)
  • May be given in an IV before you are taken to the operating room
  • Gases may be mixed with oxygen and given through a face mask or another airway device.

Airway devices are face masks and other devices that make sure enough oxygen gets to your lungs. They also reduce the chances of material from the throat or stomach getting into the lungs. Airway devices are placed in the throat or windpipe. Except for special circumstances, you are asleep when these are placed and removed.

Conscious sedation

This type of anesthesia is given through an IV. You will be monitored just as you were having a general or regional anesthesia. You may or may not remember your procedure. Conscious sedation

  • Relieves anxiety and blunts pain or discomfort during a surgical or medical procedure
  • Reduces but does not always eliminate consciousness
  • Is used along with some form of regional anesthesia to make your experience more pleasant.