Dr. Bernard Wittels M.D., PH.D., Anesthesiologist

Dr. Bernard Wittels M.D., PH.D.


355 Ridge Avenue Evanston IL, 60202


Dr. Bernard Wittels is an anesthesiologist practicing in Evanston, IL. Dr. Wittels ensures the safety of patients who are about to undergo surgery. Anesthesiologists specialize in general anesthesia, (keeping patients unconscious, hemodynamically stable, and pain-free), sedation, (reducing anxiety and inducing a state of calm sleepiness) , and regional anesthesia, (numbing a region of the body using local anesthetics). As an anesthesiologist, Dr. Wittels also provides acute pain management after an operation using peripheral nerve blocks and patient-controlled intravenous opioids.

Education and Training

Univ of Chicago, Pritzker Sch of Med, Chicago Il 1986

U Of Chgo Div Of Bio Sci Pritzker Sch Of Med 1986

Board Certification

AnesthesiologyAmerican Board of AnesthesiologyABA

Provider Details

Dr. Bernard Wittels M.D., PH.D.
Dr. Bernard Wittels M.D., PH.D.'s Expert Contributions
  • The Silent Killer

    She moves in a stealthy manner, makes no sounds, emits no scent, you insist that you don’t know her and you have no reason to be suspicious of anything.  Who is this sly culprit?  Your cardiologist knows her, your nephrologist does too; even your opthalmologist, internist, obstetrician and...

  • Pain-Free Labor and Delivery

    Many pregnant women near their delivery date have preconceived notions about the management of their labor and delivery. Some plan a “natural” delivery, some want only intravenous opioids for pain relief, and others want an epidural anesthetic as soon as possible. For women who have never...

  • Which anesthesia is used during abdominal hernia surgery?

    General anesthesia is usually used for incisional and umbilical hernia repairs. Inguinal hernia repairs are also usually done under general anesthesia, but some very stoic or elderly patients can have inguinal hernia repairs done with local anesthesia and IV sedation. READ MORE

  • Is a CT scan done under anesthesia?

    It is normal to have some anxiety before a CT scan, but it is a painless procedure and hospital staff will explain the test and usually provide enough education and emotional support to allow the scan to be done without any medication. READ MORE

  • Do I need anesthesia for my laser eye surgery?

    Only if you want sedation for the procedure. READ MORE

  • Is general anesthesia required for a tonsillectomy?

    Yes, tonsillectomy requires general anesthesia. READ MORE

  • Why does anesthesia cause people to shake when coming out of it?

    Shivering is most commonly a result of a patient's feeling cold. The operating room is kept cool and anesthesiologists routinely give warmed IV fluids and apply forced warm-air heating blankets to patients during surgery to maintain normothermia. Warming blankets can also be applied in postanesthesia care units to warm patients and prevent shivering. READ MORE

  • How long would I be sedated for a colonoscopy?

    You can be deeply sedated throughout the colonoscopy (which can take 15-45 minutes) and wake up 10-15 minutes after it is completed. READ MORE

  • Is there proof that anesthesia could cause ADHD?

    Some patients who received general anesthesia wake up in a transient, excitable state, known as emergence delirium, but that resolves in minutes and spontaneously. As far as I am aware, there is no study proving the cause or causes of ADHD in children or in adults. It is a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by a collection of symptoms and the etiology is yet undetermined. READ MORE

  • My son dislocated his shoulder. Is anesthesia needed for the repair?

    Closed reduction of a dislocated shoulder in young athletes may require intravenous drugs that attenuate anxiety, pain, and/or consciousness, as needed. The more stoic the athlete is, the less medication is required, and some may require nothing at all. READ MORE

  • Do I need anesthesia to get my chipped teeth fixed?

    If you need some numbness, then your dentist can use a small needle to inject local anesthetic so you don't feel anything. READ MORE

  • What should I do to prepare for jaw corrective surgery?

    You will probably need to not eat or drink anything after midnight before the day of surgery and you will probably receive general anesthesia for your surgery, but much more information is required to give you more specific information. READ MORE

  • Do I need anesthesia for a laser eye surgery?

    For laser cataract surgery, you may receive topical local anesthesia and mild IV sedation. There is usually little or no pain during the procedure or afterward. READ MORE

  • I have a heel spur. Does the treatment involve anesthesia?

    The type of surgery depends on your podiatrist's choice. Minimally invasive surgery can be done with just local anesthesia; deeper, more lengthy and invasive surgery may require an ankle block or general anesthesia. READ MORE

  • My son has a small throat polyp. Will he have to under general anesthesia for the surgery?

    Oropharyngeal polypectomy usually requires general anesthesia READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia in elderly patients cause excessive sleep?

    Elderly patients may have slower awakening after general anesthesia, but postoperative sleepiness depends more on the dose of narcotics used to control pain. READ MORE

  • Will fasting and anesthesia lead to any complications in my surgery?

    Diabetic patients usually have elevated blood sugar during the stress of surgery. Your blood sugar can be measured before, during and after surgery to ensure normoglycemia. READ MORE

  • Does anesthesia cause any developmental issues in kids?

    If your son needed surgery, then he also needed anesthesia. Pediatric anesthesia is safer today than it has ever been. READ MORE

  • Is it true that anesthesia for obese people is riskier?

    Obese patients usually have multiple comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, difficult vascular access, and difficult airways) that add to difficulties and risks with anesthesia and surgery. READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia cause laryngospasm?

    Laryngospasm can occur if a patient is extubated before being fully awake. There are standard treatments for larygospasm that restore normal breathing patterns. READ MORE

  • Will anesthesia also reduce my post operative pain?

    Anesthesiologists routinely administer pain-controlling medicine during surgery to allow a comfortable postoperative course for the patient. READ MORE

  • For a bronchoscopy, will I need anesthesia?

    Yes, bronchoscopy usually requires general anesthesia. READ MORE

  • Can I get anesthesia two times in a time gap of just one month?

    No problem with two anesthetics within one month. READ MORE

  • I'm having a nose job. Will the anesthesia affect my high blood pressure?

    It is advisable to take your usual antihypertensive medications before surgery (but advise your anesthesiologist if you are taking ACh inhibitors or ACh receptor blockers) and be reassured that the drugs that anesthesiologists use usually lower your blood pressure and that anesthesiologists routinely control blood pressure with antihypertensive drugs intravenously during surgery. READ MORE

  • Are there any food restrictions after anesthesia?

    After local or regional anesthesia, there are no limitations to your food intake; however, after general anesthesia, your brain will wake up hours before your bowels feel like handling any food, so it is best to wait 6-8 hours after general anesthesia to try any food intake, and to start with small amounts, a little at a time. READ MORE

  • What anesthesia is easier to recover from?

    One can recuperate from local anesthesia and twilight sleep anesthesia faster than from general anesthesia; however, modern methods of general anesthesia also lead to fast recovery times. READ MORE

  • Does local anesthesia also make one drowsy?

    If you have severe pain for a long time, and a doctor gives you local anesthesia that completely eliminates your pain, then you may feel sleepy because you haven't slept well for days; otherwise, local anesthetics have no effect on alertness. READ MORE

  • For a skin grafting procedure, are you given general or local anesthesia?

    You are usually given both general anesthesia and local anesthesia so that you are asleep while the procedure is done and you awake with no pain. READ MORE

  • Is anesthesia risky for a COPD patient?

    There is usually no serious problem with anesthesia for patients with COPD as long as they are followed and treated by an internist. READ MORE

  • What are the other types of anesthesia that is used in surgery?

    Both local anesthesia and regional anesthesia are options, depending on the location and extent of the surgery. READ MORE

  • Why do I have dry mouth after the anesthesia?

    Dry mouth is common in the few hours after general anesthesia, but it shouldn't last for days. Has there been any change in your diet, mouthwash, or toothpaste? Those could explain your dry mouth. READ MORE

  • Is back pain possible after an epidural?

    Half of pregnant women have low back pain after delivery, whether or not they receive an epidural anesthetic. READ MORE

  • Are older patients at risk for confusion after anesthesia?

    Anyone with baseline confusion can be more confused if anesthesia is administered. READ MORE

  • Should blood thinnners be stopped before a surgery?

    Follow the instructions of your doctors and ask them questions. Why are you taking blood thinners? Can they be safely discontinued? When should they be restarted after surgery? Blood thinners can cause excess bleeding and other complications during surgery. Anesthesia has no effect on the potency or effect of anticoagulants. READ MORE

  • What can I expert during and after being under anesthesia?

    Talk to your anesthesiologist before surgery, so you can receive anxiety-relieving medications and undergo surgery safely with a quick, painless recovery. READ MORE

  • Is general anesthesia safe for an 86 year old woman?

    Good question. Does your mother have other medical problems, like coronary artery disease, COPD, HTN, DM, or a stroke? If so, then she may do better without surgery. READ MORE

  • Can having been a long time smoker have an effect when I am under anesthesia?

    Stop smoking 6 weeks prior to surgery and you will have little trouble. Continue to smoke and you will be coughing nonstop in the recovery room and every time you cough, your postoperative pain will be more severe. READ MORE

  • What could happen if I stop breathing under anesthesia?

    After induction of general anesthesia, all patients stop breathing temporarily until the anesthesiologist breathes for them continuously and maintains their unconsciousness and analgesia during surgery. READ MORE

  • Does general anesthesia during a C-section have an affect on your baby?

    General anesthesia for cesarean delivery requires rapid delivery of the infant after induction of anesthesia. Rapid delivery insures an alert baby at delivery; prolonged intervals to delivery may produce transient drowsiness or grogginess in infants and may require temporary ventilatory support. READ MORE

  • Is my fever a side effect of anesthesia?

    Infection from surgery is the most likely cause of postoperative fever. READ MORE

  • Is vomiting after anesthesia normal?

    Postoperative nausea and vomiting due to general anesthesia are usually limited to the first few hours after surgery, so symptoms that last longer need to be reevaluated. READ MORE

  • Is anesthesia safe for a person who suffers with seizures?

    Most drugs used in anesthesia tend to reduce or eliminate the incidence of seizure activity. READ MORE

  • Is it safe for me to get an anesthesia after having my insulin injection?

    No problem READ MORE

  • Is it safe to get an anesthesia done when I have just taken a painkiller?

    No problem READ MORE

  • Fear of local anaesthetic allergy

    Close to zero risk. READ MORE

  • What precautions does an anesthesiologist take for a blood pressure patient?

    Hypertension is a common disease that anesthesiologists treat. READ MORE

  • How long does anesthesia last?

    That depends on the local anesthetic given and the time of administration. Typically, the numbness persists for several hours after surgery. READ MORE

  • Can drinking have any impact on my anesthesia dosage?


  • Will my holistic medicine react with anesthesia?

    Tell your anesthesiologist all the medications and herbs you are taking and your anesthesiologist will discuss the risks. READ MORE

  • Can anaesthesia for a patient who is on sleeping medicines be dangerous?

    There is a possible additive interaction with anesthesia medications, so your father may find it difficult to awaken after general anesthesia or may be sleepy after awakening. READ MORE

  • What can I do for the back pain that has started two years after my C-section?

    No epidural anesthetic causes sudden pain 2 years later. Look for other causes. READ MORE

  • Are there precautions associated with giving anesthesia for diabetic patients?

    Control of blood glucose is the main concern of the care of diabetic patients. Anesthesiologists and nurses will continue to monitor the diabetic patient's blood glucose before, during, and after surgery. READ MORE

  • What could be the symptoms of an anesthesia overdose? Is it possible?

    Anesthesiologists monitor the vital signs of patients under general or regional anesthesia continuously during surgical procedures, and titrate anesthetic drugs to ensure an adequate level of pain relief and to avoid the extremes of too little or too much anesthesia. Surgeons rely on the judgement and care of anesthesiologists to ensure adequate levels of anesthesia. READ MORE

  • How will I know if I am allergic to anesthesia?

    The only true allergic response to volatile general anesthetics occurs in patients who have an inherited genetic mutation that makes them susceptible to a condition called malignant hyperthermia. If you have received general anesthesia in the past without difficulty, and none of your close relatives developed malignant hyperthermia after receiving general anesthesia, then you do not have this mutation, and you are not allergic to anesthesia. READ MORE

  • What should I expect during general anesthesia?

    You should meet your anesthesiologist prior to having surgery. Your anesthesiologist will explain all procedures, risks, and potential complications and will give you the opportunity to ask any questions before proceeding. READ MORE

  • I had a root canal treatment and my inner cheek is swollen. Is it normal?

    Numbness and swelling are common after undergoing root canal surgery and it persists for days before gradually diminishing. Excessive pain, swelling or bleeding should warrant your returning to see the dentist or orthodontist who performed your surgery. READ MORE

  • What are the risks of anesthesia for a patient suffering from COPD?

    Patients with COPD who receive general anesthesia are prone to have excessive coughing and clearing of secretions in the recovery room. READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia interact with breast milk?

    Breastfeeding is safe after receiving anesthesia for a D & C because the dosages of drugs are small and the amounts entering breast milk are very small and have no adverse effect on nursing infants. READ MORE

  • I am planning to pierce my nose. Is there an ointment that I can apply to numb the area and ease the pain?

    EMLA cream is a topical local anesthetic cream that needs to be applied for 15-30 minutes prior to needle puncture to provide adequate pain relief. READ MORE

  • My wife has neoplasia and a fibroid in her uterus. Is hysterectomy the only option?

    If your wife has been diagnosed with a high grade cervical dysplasia or carcinoma in situ, then hysterectomy is the only surgical cure. If her cervical pathology is benign, then small fibroids can usually be removed during operative hysteroscopy. READ MORE

  • Is it risky to undergo anesthesia with a common cold?

    Elective surgical procedures should be postponed until the patient's condition is optimized. A mild upper respiratory infection can worsen into a severe upper or lower respiratory infection, or even pneumonia, after receiving general anesthesia. READ MORE

  • How does anesthesia work on the body?

    General anesthetics alter signal processing in the brain to produce unconsciousness, analgesia, and muscle relaxation. Side effects of general anesthetics include postoperative drowsiness and nausea. Potential complications of having an operation relate more directly to the degree of patient disability, and to the complexity and invasiveness of the surgical procedure than to the anesthesia. READ MORE

  • Why was my son given anesthesia for a CT scan?

    To obtain the sharpest, most accurate images from a CT scan, the patient (your son) must lie perfectly still for the entire scan, which may last 3 - 10 minutes. Most 3 year-olds need sedation or anesthesia in order to lie still for this exam and the anesthesiologist should explain the anesthesia care of your son to you and obtain your consent beforehand. READ MORE

  • Can I feel drowsy a week after my anesthesia was delivered?

    Usually, only a light anesthetic is required for D & C, and all sedative effects should be completely resolved after 24 hours. If you are drowsy and sleepy a week later, you should have your gynecologist exam you, measure your vital signs, and determine your blood count. READ MORE

  • Can three epidurals be a problem?

    There should be no problem with receiving three epidural anesthetics over a period of years; however, the surgical risk increases with each successive cesarean delivery with increased surgical time and increased risks of bleeding and damage to bowel or bladder tissues. READ MORE

  • If my anesthesia is delivered in the back, can its traces mix in the spinal fluid?

    You can received either spinal anesthesia, epidural anesthesia, or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery. In all cases, medications can enter your spinal fluid either directly (spinal anesthesia) or via diffusion (epidural anesthesia) [which is how they produce numbness]; however, as the numbness wears of in the recovery room, so does the concentrations of spinal medications dissipate to zero [via diffusion out of the spinal fluid, and via circulation of spinal fluid and reabsorption]. After just a few hours, there are no traces of local anesthetic medications in your spinal fluid, but long-acting opioid medications such as morphine may persist for 20-24 hours (as it provides postcesarean analgesia for 20-24 hours). READ MORE

  • How long does anesthesia stay in the blood?

    Although many anesthetic drugs persist in the blood stream for several hours after surgery, their effect on the brain (to produce sedation) dissipates in a matter of minutes. As long as benzodiazepines and opioids are avoided, propofol sedation dissipates in minutes after discontinuation, an effect of redistribution in other body tissues. READ MORE

  • Can hypertension along with anesthesia become a problem?

    There are many drugs taken to treat hypertension. It is best to tell your anesthesiologist 2-3 weeks before surgery what medications you are taking. Your anesthesiologist will advise you on which medications to continue (beta blockers) and which to discontinue (ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers). Anesthesiologists continually monitor your blood pressure during surgery and can correct any occurence of high or low blood pressure. READ MORE

  • Is local anesthesia better than general anesthesia?

    Done correctly, local anesthesia or nerve block anesthesia provides adequate analgesia for some surgeries and has fewer side effects than general anesthesia; however, most patients tolerate general anesthesia well with no complications using modern methods. READ MORE

  • My son was given anesthesia before his CT scan and is now drowsy. Is this normal?

    If your son was given benzodiazepines, opioids, or inhalational anesthetics and if your son's procedure was done in the early morning or late evening, then drowsiness can persist for hours afterward. This is due to both your son's diurnal sleep/wake cycle and the long-acting nature of the medications. READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia be administered to a patient with diabetes?

    Diabetes has little or no effect on anesthesia. Doctors and nurses monitor the blood glucose of diabetic patients throughout the perioperative period. READ MORE

  • I need to undergo a nail removal treatment. Will anesthesia have to be administered for this?

    Toenail surgery can be done with local anesthesia in your podiatrist's office, or with supplemental sedation and IV analgesia by an anesthesiologist in the operating room. READ MORE

  • I am a diabetic and a blood pressure patient. Could anesthesia have any counter interactions during my surgery?

    Hypertension and diabetes are common comorbidities among patients undergoing bypass surgery and anesthesiologists are well trained in dealing with such coexisting medical problems, so that no additional risks exist. READ MORE

  • Would my diabetic medication have a counter interaction with anesthesia?

    None of the antihyperglycemic medications have a direct effect on anesthetics. READ MORE

  • Is anesthesia in low blood pressure patients risky?

    You will probably receive a local anesthetic which has no effect on your blood pressure. READ MORE

  • I have heard the anesthesia given during C-section can later cause back pain. Is it true?

    It is well known that 50% of pregnant women develop chronic low back pain after vaginal or cesarean delivery, and that spinal and epidural anesthetics do not alter that incidence. Consult a physical therapist to learn the proper exercises to improve the strength of your core and your back muscles in order to prevent low back pain. READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia have any side effects?

    All anesthetics have potential side effects and they are specific to the type of anesthesia administered and which medications are used. Consult your anesthesiologist to learn about specific side effects for your specific anesthesia and surgery. READ MORE

  • I have a uterine septum that needs to be removed. What is the safest anaesthesia for me?

    Anesthesiology in 2018 is very safe. You will be given medications to allay your fears, and you should tolerate monitored anesthesia care, regional anesthesia, or general anesthesia well with minimal risk of complications. READ MORE

  • Can an overdose of anesthesia cause death?

    Anesthesiologists always do their best to provide patients with unconsciousness, pain-free, nausea-free anesthesia for surgery, maintaining stable blood pressure, oxygenation, and ventilation, as well and normothermia. Of course, every doctor and nurse caring for you will do their best to insure your safety. Only in the rarest of circumstances does a patient die around the time of surgery and that is usually due to an underlying serious medical condition that could be life-threatening that is unmasked, or previously unknown (and as such is hard to diagnose and difficult to treat). In the vast majority of cases (>99.99%), there is little or no risk of death from anesthesia. Overdoses of anesthesia drugs may cause adverse effects, but they are usually recognized quickly and treated quickly to prevent any serious postoperative complication. Be thorough and honest about your past history of drug use, medical problems, and surgical history with your anesthesiologist, and your anesthetic care should be optimal. READ MORE

  • Is it a must to stop Adderall while getting anaesthesia?

    The current literature is somewhat controversial regarding continuing or discontinuing adderall prior to surgery. Hypotension and cardiac dysrhythmias are the two most common potential complications of general anesthetic interactions with adderall. Some suggest the use of regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural anesthesia) for hip surgery, a common practice, to avoid these problems. Even with a regional anesthetic, there may be a need to convert to general anesthesia for a variety of reasons. If the patient can tolerate being off adderall, it is recommended to stop taking it 2 weeks prior to surgery. READ MORE

  • Could I be allergic to anaesthesia?

    From your statement, it appears that you received general anesthesia for your cesarean delivery. In that case, general anesthesia frequently is associated with nausea and vomiting and knowledgable anesthesiologists drain the patient's stomach with gastric tube aspiration and administer anti-nausea drugs before you wake up to prevent nausea. You are NOT allergic to anesthesia. READ MORE

  • I am planning to go for a lip piercing. Will anaesthesia help in easing the pain?

    The epidermis covering the surface of your lips is unique and cannot be reproduced by any plastic surgical technique. Piercing this tissue creates a scar that can never be erased. If you are African American, you may develop keloids at the piercing sites, negating any enhancement of your beauty by a ring. Although EMLA cream applied 2 hours before the procedure may blunt the pain of the procedure during the procedure, it is a short-acting anesthetic and you may be uncomfortable late, and displeased and dissatisfied in the long term. READ MORE

  • What treatment should I get for nerve root compression?

    I suggest that you get an MRI of the portion of your spine that is affected, then consult a neurosurgeon with the MRI scan. A neurosurgeon is the best person to evaluate your condition and make a recommendation for treatment. READ MORE

  • Can anesthesia lead to neurological issues?

    This question requires much more information than was given in order to give an accurate answer. Some of the information includes the following: 1) How old was your father when he had the surgery? 2) What was the surgery? 3) Did your father have hypertension, coronary artery disease, claudication or history of TIA's? and 4) What kind of anesthesia did he receive and what were his hemodynamics (blood pressure, pulse, and oxygenation) during the surgery? READ MORE

  • Should all medications be stopped before anesthesia?

    In general, you should always consult with your surgeon and your anesthesiologist about which medicines should be taken or stopped before surgery. Blood thinners are a special category where the answer depends on why you are taking the drug and what kind of surgery you are having. For minor surgery where no blood loss is expected, continuing blood thinners is usually prescribed. If you are taking blood thinners to protect the patency of a coronary stent, or if you are having major surgery with a significant risk of blood loss, then you should consult with your internist, cardiologist, surgeon, and anesthesiologist weeks in advance. They may ask you to change blood thinning medications, have your clotting parameters checked with blood testing, and make a plan for stopping and restarting your blood thinners. READ MORE

  • Is anesthesia safe for older people with dementia?

    Older patients with dementia have shortened life expectancies with or without anesthesia. A brief surgery with an anesthetic that does not decrease the patient's blood pressure should have no detrimental effect. READ MORE

  • Is plavix( clopidogrel ) a blood thinner?

    Plavix should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to major orthopedic surgery. Consult with your cardiologist, surgeon, and anesthesiologist well before. They may plan a bridging therapy for blood thinning before surgery and test your blood for its clotting ability. These have a direct influence on the choice of anesthetics that you can receive. READ MORE

  • Is laughing gas ok for someone with anxiety?

    Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, has analgesic and anesthetic properties, but is not an anxiolytic, and can increase sympathetic nervous system drive. I would not recommend it for you. I would recommend taking an anxiolytic, like valium, a few hour before surgery to treat your anxiety, and be sure to have someone drive you to your dentist and home as you will not be reliably safe as a driver after taking valium. READ MORE

  • Nausea after surgery

    The best options are to fast at least 12 hours prior to surgery, receive a scopolamine patch prior to surgery, have your anesthesiologist empty your stomach while you are asleep, and give at least 2 different anti-emetics before you wake up, with minimal use of narcotics. READ MORE

  • Chance of serious complication from anesthesia?

    Wisdom tooth extraction is a minor procedure. If it is done in a hospital operating room setting with an anesthesiologist, OR nurses, and ancillary staff present, it is a very safe procedure. If done in a dentist's office without an anesthesiologist, and using dentist-administered nitrous oxide, it is less safe. READ MORE

  • Do kids need anesthesia before being taken for a CT scan?

    Pneumonia in a 2-year-old does not require a CT scan for diagnosis. A simple blood test for infection, sputum culture for specificity of the organism, and a quick, painless chest radiogram will do just fine in defining the cause and treatment of his pneumonia. READ MORE

  • What decides the medication before my surgery?

    Your anesthesiologist decides what premedication, if any, to give you prior to general anesthesia for your surgery. This decision may be based on your state of health, level of alertness, degree of disability, time of day, concomitant use of medications (drug interactions) and other factors. Of course, communicating your concerns, apprehensions, anxiety and nervousness to your anesthesiologist and requesting a calming medication before surgery are good ways to insure receiving that medication if you so desire. READ MORE

  • Am I really paralyzed under general anesthesia?

    General anesthesia may mean different things under different circumstances. For some surgeries, like knee arthroscopy and hysteroscopy, the patient may be asleep but no muscle relaxants are needed so the patient is not paralyzed. Other more invasive surgeries, like laparoscopy and exploratory laparotomy do require the use of muscle relaxants to insure a motionless operative field for safe surgical technique. Anesthesiologists administer drugs and monitor patients to insure that they are not conscious during both kinds of general anesthesia. Muscle relaxants are reversed at the end of surgery, so both groups of surgical patients have full motor strength when they awaken from general anesthesia. Anesthesiologists are careful to insure patient unconsciousness (along with adequate oxygenation, ventilation, and hemodynamic stability) when muscle relaxants are used, so that no patient should ever experience any wakefulness when paralyzed during surgery. READ MORE

  • Sickness after anesthesia?

    Nausea and vomiting are well known complications of general anesthesia. The more empty your stomach is, the less nausea you will have, which is why a fasting period of 8-12 hours is recommended prior to surgery. Also, anesthesiologists are well aware of the risk and nearly always give multiple anti-nausea medications to prevent nausea. If a patient still develops nausea after anesthesia and surgery, then the same or different anti-nausea medications can be given intravenously to dissipate nausea within a minute or two. READ MORE

  • Do I have to stop taking my vitamins before anesthesia?

    Vitamin B12, probiotics and vitamin D are safe to continue the day before surgery, but their duration of actions are long enough that you will not feel any deleterious effect by skipping doses for a day. Medications that may affect your surgery and anesthesia include aspirin and aspirin-like products, anticoagulants, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and herbal medications such as garlic, ginseng, gingko biloba, and others. It may be necessary to stop these medications for 2-3 weeks prior to elective surgery. READ MORE

  • Type 1 diabetes and general anethesia

    For patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, it is best to be well controlled under the close guidance of an endocrinologist well before any elective surgery. In general, diabetic patients should not take any regular insulin on the morning of surgery when they are fasting. Continue to monitor his blood glucose and report those data to your anesthesiologist. Also discuss what symptoms your son has when his glucose is too low. Your anesthesiologist should be able to monitor your son's glucose during surgery (although deviated septum repair is a relatively short surgery) and nurses in the recovery room can check his blood glucose as well. Insulin is always available to treat significant hyperglycemia, and you can begin to restart his normal insulin regimen when he resumes a normal dietary intake. READ MORE

  • What is procedural anesthesia?

    Typically, most "procedures" involve endoscopy of the GI tract where no skin incision is performed. Stoic patients with high pain tolerances can tolerated these procedures with mild sedation given by nurses. On the other hand, anxious, sensitive patients require deep sedation that requires the skill and training of an anesthesiologist to induce and maintain a deep anesthetic state with close control and monitoring of oxygenation, ventilation and hemodynamics. These are usually short procedures and short anesthetics with rapid emergence and early readiness for discharge. "Surgical" anesthesia is required for surgeries where skin incision and internal exploration occurs; anesthesiologists induce patient unconsciousness, control their oxygenation and ventilation, and may administer muscle relaxants to insure an immobile surgical field. READ MORE

  • What is procedural anesthesia?

    Although "procedural anesthesia" is not commonly used, it represents the type of anesthesia used for non-surgical procedures, such as electroconvulsive treatments, joint manipulations, and others. It may involve any form of anesthesia (local, nerve block, regional, or general) and is usually specific to the procedure involved. READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

Obstetric anesthesiaThoracic and Vascular anesthesia

Faculty Titles & Positions

  • Associate Professor University of Chicago 1990 - 2005
  • Associate Professor Rush University Medical Center 2006 - 2008
  • Associate Professor University of Missouri 2009 - 2010

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Anesthesiologists  
  • International Anesthesia Research Society  
  • Society of Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology  
  • Illinois Society of Anesthesiology  
  • Faculty of 1000 Member, Section on Obstetric Anesthesia  


  • Yale New Haven Hosp, Anesthesiology; Michael Reese Hosp Med Ctr, Internal Medicine  
  • Yale New Haven Hospital   1987

Dr. Bernard Wittels M.D., PH.D.'s Practice location

Presence Saint Francis Hospital

355 Ridge Avenue -
Evanston, IL 60202
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New patients: 847-316-2105, 847-316-6370

Practice At 1653 W Congress Pkwy 735 Jelke Anesthesia Dept

1653 W Congress Pkwy 735 Jelke Anesthesia Dept -
Chicago, IL 60612
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New patients: 773-702-3027

Practice At 1 Hospital Dr

1 Hospital Dr -
Columbia, MO 65201
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New patients: 573-882-6061
Fax: 573-884-4122

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  • Latest Acupuncture Techniques Show Improvement in Fibromyalgia

    IntroductionFibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. Scientists have no exact cause of fibromyalgia, but it is often thought to be related to the following conditions:...

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Head east 302 ft
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17651 B HWY BOONVILLE MO 65233

413-999 Hospital Dr, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
Head west
338 ft
Turn right onto Monk Dr
0.2 mi
Turn right onto E Stadium Blvd
4.4 mi
Slight left onto the Interstate 70 W/U.S. 40 W ramp to Kansas City
0.3 mi
Merge onto I-70 W/US-40 WContinue to follow I-70 W
12.5 mi
Take exit 111 for MO-179/MO-98 toward Overton/Wooldridge
0.2 mi
Turn left onto MO-179 S
1.5 mi
25135 Cumberland Church Rd, Boonville, MO 65233, USA



413-999 Hospital Dr, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
Head west
338 ft
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79 ft
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0.2 mi
Slight right toward S College Ave
200 ft
Sharp left onto S College Ave
0.7 mi
Turn right onto Anthony St
0.4 mi
Turn left onto S Ann St
289 ft
Turn leftDestination will be on the right
322 ft
1-263 S Ann St, Columbia, MO 65201, USA



413-999 Hospital Dr, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
Head west
338 ft
Turn right toward Hospital Dr
79 ft
Turn right at the 1st cross street onto Hospital Dr
0.1 mi
Turn rightDestination will be on the right
161 ft
1 Hospital Dr, Columbia, MO 65212, USA