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October 22, 2018

5 Questions To Ask Your Anesthesiologist Before Your Surgery

Surgery can be a scary and nerve wracking experience. Before having surgery, it is important to find out all you can about the procedure including the anesthesia. Being prepared and knowing as much as you can up front can help calm your nerves. Here are 5 questions that are important to ask your anesthesiologist before your surgical procedure.

 

  1. What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Used/ Will There be a Breathing Tube?

There are three different types of anesthesia that can be used for surgical procedures. The first is a local anesthetic, which is where they numb one part of your body. Regional anesthetic is where they block pain to an area of the body, like an epidural during childbirth. General anesthetic is where they make you unconscious. During general anesthesia, you will be intubated. This tube that is put down your throat helps to provide oxygen and help you breathe during surgery. Be sure to ask your anesthesiologist or surgeon which type of anesthesia will be used during your procedure.

 

  1. Is it Okay to Take My Medication?

There are a lot of rules concerning taking medications and having a surgical procedure. Every medication is different – some need to be stopped up to two weeks before surgery and others you can take the morning of. It is important to provide a complete list of both prescription medications as well as any vitamins and other supplements that you take to your anesthesiologist. Be sure to ask when you need to stop your medications and which ones you can take in the morning the day of.

 

  1. When is the Cut Off Time for Food and Drink?

It is important to follow any instruction that your anesthesiologist provides regarding food and drink. If you eat or drink too close to surgery, you may choke on your vomit or it may get into your lungs while under anesthesia causing issues. Be sure to ask when the cut off time is, as it may vary depending on the time of your procedure.

 

  1. Who Will be Administering the Anesthesia?
  2. Depending on the hospital or surgical center a physician anesthesiologist may not be taking care of you. It may be a resident, a nurse or an assistant anesthesiologist. It is important to understand who will be in charge of your care.

 

  1. What Complications Can Occur? It is important to be prepared for any outcomes that may not be the best. Ask your anesthesiologist what can occur as a side effect during or after anesthesia. Things that occur can be as simple as a sore throat to as serious as death. It is important to understand all of the possibilities.

 

Getting these questions answered ahead of time by your anesthesiologist, will better prepare you for your procedure and help calm any nerves.