Okay to ask for an MD anesthesiologist? What's the norm?

on 3/30/11 11:31 pm - VA

I am wondering whether it's the norm to have an actual MD as an anesthesiologist, or whether a certified nurse anesthetist or tech is more common.  What did you have, or do you know?

I have an issue with sedatives.  I can't take benzodizapines like Valium and Versed, which are commonly used before surgery to calm you and knock you out a bit.  Because I respond unusually to these drugs, I really want someone expert keeping me comfortable.  Would it be unreasonable to ask for an MD if the team I go to usually uses a certified nurse anesthetist? 

No offense to nurses intended!  I am just a wierd case.

5'7"  VSG on 6/6/2011  HW 224, SW 214, CW 144  
(deactivated member)
on 3/30/11 11:43 pm
it is your right to ask.....
on 3/30/11 11:48 pm - Atlanta, GA
I would think it varies w/ the group who is performing the anesthesia.  A nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is commonly used, although they must be supervised by an MD anesthesiologist -- and that anesthesiologist has to  be close by and readily available should problems arise.  Most CRNAs I have worked with have been quite well-trained and are very competent.  Generally, they must have substantial experience in intensive care, operating room or emergency room nursing even before they are admitted to a CRNA training program. 

That being said, however, you should be able to request an MD to do your anesthesia.  But, whoever you get, MAKE SURE they are aware of your problems with sedatives.  A member of the anesthesia team should meet with you before the procedure to get a history, and that's the time to inform them of your issues.  There should be adequate alternatives to make sure you are comfortable before and after surgery.  Best of luck to you!
on 3/31/11 12:03 am - NJ
VSG on 03/08/11 with
 I completely agree with rtptjd.  I work in an area that uses anesthesia pretty much all of the time for our patients.  When we use general anesthesia, as will be in your case both the anesthesiologist and the CRNA are present for the induction and intubation.  Holly your request is not unreasonable and I would definitely discuss your past experience with certain medications.  Your comfort both physically and mentally should be their priority.  Good luck Holly ~~ Holly  
Nothing worth having comes easy.  Success comes with hard work and determination and sacrifice!   

 ROCK ON!             
George B.
on 3/31/11 12:21 am - Miami, FL
The hospital I went to used an MD Anesthesiologist whom I had to meet with and review my medical history. 

It's your surgery, ask for what you want and need.
on 3/31/11 2:04 am - CO
 I have had numerous surgeries and have requested for only a MD anesthesiologist. This is significant enough of a surgery to have nothing less then a MD in my opionion. Going forward with any other surgeries my doctor told me you will always want to request one since our pouches are so small,there will have to be extra concern with insureing that when tubes are placed in your mouth/throat that they do not force the tube like they would usually do with that same force. It could puncture your new stomach. YOUR the boss!!
on 3/31/11 2:15 am - Ann Arbor, MI
 Yes!  You have right to insist on that.  I insisted on a board certified anesthesiologist (MD), not a nurse anesthetist.  And because I had my surgery at the University of Michigan hospital, I also insisted that my induction and supervision at all times be by the anesthesiologist, not a resident.  These are our bodies, our lives, we have every right to make reasonable requests about the health care we receive.  Congrats on your upcoming surgery!