Most breast cancer surgery takes place in an outpatient setting and the anesthesia used is mainly intravenous.
An anti anxiety medication is first injected and followed by a short acting narcotic and a sedative which causes moderate to deep sleep depending on the magnitude of the operation.
Local anesthesia is used by the surgeon and the anesthesiologist monitors the airway for ventilation. Dr. Wade talks about placing a tube in the trachea.
This is used in longer procedures when the operation requires a deep plane of anesthesia and respiration is controlled by the anesthesiologist.
Virginia Wade, MD--Anesthesiologist