Important Patient Information
The more informed you are, the better prepared you will be for surgery and the more successful your overall experience. We encourage you to ask questions and to learn as much as you can before any surgical ,procedure.
• Anesthesia in General
Anesthesia in General
“Anesthesia” means “without feeling” and can be local, regional, or general. Each type of anesthesia serves a specific purpose and demands special training and skill.
In local anesthesia, an anesthetic drug is injected into the tissue around a nerve, numbing the specific area requiring minor surgery. You may be fully awake or sedated. It is a very safe procedure.
In regional anesthesia, your anesthesiologist makes an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or you may be given a sedative and lose consciousness.
In general anesthesia, you will “go to sleep,” become unconscious, and have no awareness or any other sensation. During surgery, you are carefully monitored, and treated by your anesthesiologist, using state of the art equipment to track your major bodily functions. A breathing tube may be inserted during surgery. The length and level of anesthesia is calculated and adjusted precisely. At the conclusion of surgery, your anesthesiologist will allow you to emerge from anesthesia and then accompany you to the recovery unit.
What are the risks?
All operations and all anesthetics carry some risks, depending on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s medical condition. Fortunately, adverse events are rare.
To reduce anesthetic risk:
• Provide complete information about your health and medical history
Be informed! Consult with both your surgeon and your anesthesiologist about any risks associated with your specific situation.
Fasting Guidelines: What are the diet restrictions before my anesthesia?
Fasting before surgery is absolutely essential for your safety. After midnight on the night before your surgery, you should not eat or drink anything . Under certain circumstances, your anesthesiologist may give you permission to drink clear liquids up to a few hours before anesthesia. Elective surgery may be cancelled if fasting instructions are not followed.
Tip: Simplify your diet as the date of your surgery approaches. Limit your intake of caffeine, sweets, greasy foods, and alcohol.
Can I take my usual medicines?
It is extremely important that your surgeon and your anesthesiologist have a complete list of your medications. They will help you determine which ones you can safely take at the time of surgery. Do not interrupt medications unless you are instructed otherwise.
Tip: It is not unusual to become a bit distracted as the date of surgery approaches, so start making a list of your prescriptions and other important personal medical information well ahead of time.
Will dietary supplements and herbal medicines affect my anesthesia during surgery?
Anesthesiologists have discovered, through first-hand experience and through ongoing medical research that certain vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal medicines interact with certain anesthetics. In fact, supplements and herbs may prolong the effects of anesthesia, increase risk of bleeding, or raise blood pressure. Give your doctor a complete list before surgery, so that there are no unexpected complications during surgery (e.g.,Echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, St. Johnswort, ginger, etcetera).
The Day of Surgery
What happens on the day of surgery?
#1:Relax as much as you can. Bring a close friend or family member along for support and to give you a ride home.
#2: Checking in
#3: Preoperative Interview
• Review your medical and surgical history
The anesthesiologist may place an intravenous catheter (IV) and may also give intravenous medication to help you relax.
#4: During Surgery
Where and how will I wake up?
Will I have pain or nausea when I wake up?
Note that a sore throat after anesthesia is not uncommon, and should disappear within a day or two. If you experience a persistent sore throat, please contact our office or your surgeon for advice.