At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Southwestern Regional Medical Center (Southwestern), patient comfort is just as important as cancer care. The anesthesiology team at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, cancer center uses anesthesia to keep cancer patients comfortable while undergoing tests, procedures and surgeries. They also meet with patients to answer questions about the anesthesiology process.
The anesthesiologist’s work begins before the procedure. Dr. Gerald Boyles, an Anesthesiologist at the Tulsa hospital, is dedicated to helping patients work through their fears or anxiety about an upcoming surgery. The preoperative intake process at Southwestern involves taking a comprehensive patient health history and background, which can help in establishing rapport and trust between patients and anesthesiologists. The anesthesiologist also plays an important role in delivering oncology services during the procedure. These physicians regularly monitors patients’ vital signs, pain levels and consciousness, and they make modifications designed to keep patients comfortable. The anesthesiology team at Southwestern continues providing critical care after surgery, following up on the patients’ recovery and gradually weaning them off anesthesia medications.
The types of anesthesia provided vary according to the oncology procedures and tests performed at the Tulsa cancer center. For example, cancer patients undergoing a biopsy may receive local anesthesia to numb the targeted area before surgeons extract the tissue. Southwestern patients experiencing post-surgical pain in their abdomen, rectum or pelvis may find that regional anesthesia, administered as a single injection or via an epidural or spinal anesthesia drip, helps relieve their pain. Patients undergoing major surgery typically receive general anesthesia, which renders them unconscious and reduces the awareness of pain during the procedure.