Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine

Our anesthesiology specialists use the safest, highest-quality techniques to offer comprehensive pain control and perioperative services.

Doctors performing operation
Doctor holding patient hand

Why choose UCLA Health for anesthesiology?

The UCLA Health anesthesiology team is made up of leaders in clinical care and research. Our team includes more than 200 clinical and research faculty. More than 100 residents and fellows, nurse anesthetists and clinical staff support them in delivering safe, effective care.

Each year, our anesthesiologists and anesthesia team care for more than 60,000 patients. Additional highlights of our program include:

Commitment to quality: We use multiple strategies to increase quality and improve patient outcomes through our perioperative care. Our patients eat, drink and get out of bed after surgery more quickly than is typical at other medical centers. They experience shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries and report higher levels of satisfaction.

Care optimization: Through our Preoperative Evaluation and Planning Center (PEPC), we ensure that each patient is ready for surgery. We use multiple tools to optimize your health before operating. Your care might involve physical therapy before surgery, chronic pain management or improving your diet and exercise. Research has shown that preoperative planning and health optimization significantly reduces your recovery time after surgery.

Community involvement: In addition to providing clinical care, our team is involved in community outreach. We have initiatives to reduce opioid use and increase health care access for all patients. Our clinicians also volunteer to educate high school students about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Subspecialized expertise: All our anesthesiologists are board-certified and many of them have subspecialty fellowship training. For example, we have specialists in cardiac, pediatric and obstetric anesthesia, as well as pain medicine specialists.

Training the next generation of leaders: Through our robust residency and fellowship programs, we teach and train the future generation of anesthesiologists. Our anesthesiologists stay on top of the latest techniques and research to lead these trainings. In patient care settings, we use a team model in which a board-certified anesthesiologist is always available to help care for patients.

Our areas of care

Thanks to our subspecialty anesthesiologists, we offer a full range of anesthesia and perioperative services (pain control before, during and after surgery). From chronic pain management to postoperative care, our specialists are ready to help. Our areas of care include:

Obstetric anesthesiology

We provide both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic pain management during labor and delivery, including epidurals and nitrous oxide. A high annual volume of around 2,000 births per year means we regularly care for high-risk patients. Our anesthesiologists provide expert obstetric anesthesiology and support each mother’s preferences for pain management.

Pain Medicine

Areas of pain medicine include:

Acute pain and regional anesthesiology: If you have pain from an injury or after surgery, our acute pain service is available 24/7. We use a multifaceted approach to pain management that includes optimized nutrition, movement and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Using these strategies improves outcomes and relieves pain while minimizing the use of opioids.

UCLA Comprehensive Pain Center: At our Pain Center, we offer world-class care for chronic pain. Our specialists understand that chronic pain can affect every area of your life. We work with each patient and use multiple modes of treatment to get you to your optimal activity levels. We offer same-day appointments at seven outpatient locations so you can quickly and easily access the care you need.

Pediatric anesthesiology

In partnership with the specialists at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, we deliver anesthesiology to newborns, infants and children. We work closely with other pediatric subspecialties to minimize pain during therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, as well as assist in the operating rooms.

Surgical anesthesia

Our anesthesiologists use a variety of techniques to help you recover from surgery more quickly without using narcotics. Areas of surgical anesthesia include:

Inpatient surgery: Inpatient surgeries include an overnight stay in the hospital. For example, most heart and brain surgeries are inpatient operations . We use anesthesia techniques that manage pain while allowing you to recover and return home quickly.

Outpatient surgery: When you have an outpatient operation, you return home the same day of surgery. For outpatient surgeries, we often use anesthesia techniques that don’t put you fully to sleep. These types of anesthesia allow you to return home more quickly after an operation. 

Preoperative Evaluation and Planning Center (PEPC): Before surgery, patients visit the PEPC either in person or through a telemedicine visit. The goal of the PEPC is to optimize a patient’s health before surgery. Not only does this optimization lead to better outcomes, but it also helps ensure better pain relief and control.

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit: We use multiple options such as epidural anesthesia, peripheral nerve blocks and intravenous medications to manage postsurgical pain in the hospital. We coordinate with specialists on the chronic pain team to smoothly transition patients to outpatient pain management as necessary.

Conditions anesthesiologists treat

We work closely with multiple specialists to care for specific conditions. We provide specialized anesthesiology support and perioperative care for:

Cardiothoracic surgery: We provide services for more than 1,000 cardiac surgery patients and more than 500 interventional cardiology and electrophysiology patients per year. As active researchers, we are continually finding new and better treatment options to control surgical pain.

Neurosurgery: We provide neurosurgical anesthesia for more than 1,200 patients each year. Many neurosurgeries use advanced techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) scans during an operation. Our anesthesia team works closely with the whole neurosurgery team to create precise, personalized plans for each patient’s surgical anesthesia.  

Ophthalmologic surgery: In partnership with the Jules Stein Eye Institute, we care for nearly 6,000 ophthalmology surgery patients each year. We manage anesthesia for patients undergoing cataract surgery, corneal transplants, retina surgery and more. We also provide anesthesia for infants and children undergoing eye surgery.

Thoracic surgery: Our anesthesiologists work alongside the thoracic surgery team to provide care to patients participating in more than 1,000 thoracic (chest) surgeries each year. We are one of only a few centers where patients can receive specialized surgery for mesothelioma, called the surgical pleurectomy and decortication. This procedure preserves more lung tissue and has better outcome rates than other standard treatment options.

Transplantation surgery: Many of the programs in our Transplantation Services are among the best in the country. For example, when our Liver Transplant program started, it was the only one in the Western United States. Now, we have performed more than 6,000 liver transplants, making us the most active program worldwide.

Vascular surgery: Vascular surgeons treat conditions that affect the veins and blood vessels. In partnership with the Vascular Surgery team, we care for more than 1,000 vascular patients each year. Thanks to expanding technology, we can often use sedation to deliver quality care while improving patient outcomes.

Treatments anesthesiologists offer

Anesthesiology specialists use multiple techniques to manage pain. Typically, the goal of anesthesia is to provide pain control before, during and after surgery. Common types of anesthesia include:

Local anesthesia: This technique uses a small injection of a numbing medication, such as lidocaine. We often use local anesthesia for outpatient surgeries or during dental procedures.

Regional anesthesia: This approach blocks sensations to just one part of the body. One of the most common types of regional anesthesia is an epidural, which is often used during childbirth. Regional anesthesia also includes nerve blocks, which numb certain clusters of nerves. If you are having surgery on your leg or arm, for example, you may have a femoral nerve block or a brachial plexus block.  

Sedation: Sometimes called monitored anesthesia care, sedation is what many people know as “twilight sleep.” With this type of anesthesia, you typically receive intravenous (IV) medication that helps you relax and feel drowsy. You may have mild sedation, where you can still respond to questions. Or you may have deep sedation, meaning you are deeply asleep but can still breathe without assistance.

General anesthesia: You may receive general anesthesia through an IV, breathing tube or mask. When you are under general anesthesia, you are unconscious and can’t feel any sensations. If you have general anesthesia during surgery, you may feel extreme drowsiness for a few hours after the operation.  

Meet our team

Our team in Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine is made up of experts in clinical care and research. We collaborate with multiple teams throughout the hospital to provide surgical anesthesia, as well as pain management before and after surgery. Our clinicians are also leaders who train residents and fellows to be the next generation of anesthesiology care specialists.  

Contact us

Call 310-267-6629 to request an appointment with an anesthesiology specialist at UCLA Health.

Find your care

Anesthesiology and perioperative medicine specialists help you manage pain and optimize health. For more information, call 310-267-6629.