Whether they’re planning their first major procedure or their fifth, most patients feel nervous before surgery. One of the major points of concern is anesthesia, which, despite years of well-documented research, many patients mistrust. Here’s what you need to know about anesthesia before your next procedure.
Preparing for Anesthesia
- Always follow the recommendations of your physician regarding health and diet prior to surgery. He may ask you to stop taking certain medications, blood thinners, and supplements that could interfere with anesthesia or recovery. Eating or drinking prior to surgery is likely to cause pneumonia or other complications.
- If you’re worried about anesthesia, it’s okay to ask questions. You can meet your anesthesiologist in Pre Op, where he can answer any lingering questions about the anesthesia and its aftereffects.
- For major cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, patients receive general anesthesia, which contains sedative, narcotic, and hypnotic medications to keep them sedated and pain-free throughout the operation. For less invasive surgeries (like Dr. Brantner’s mini in-office facelift), local anesthesia is all that’s needed.
- Anesthesiologists customize the dosage based on the age and health of the patient and which surgery is being performed. Older patients typically require less anesthesia than patients in their 20’s and 30’s, unless they’re redheads, who process anesthetics more quickly than other patients.
- The side effects of modern anesthesia are relatively minor. Some patients may experience grogginess, nausea, or throat soreness from the breathing tube.
- Afraid of saying embarrassing things while under the influence of medication? Don’t be. Most patients say nothing unusual while under the effects of anesthesia. On the off chance that one says something strange, it’s kept confidential by the medical team.
Ready for surgery? Make a list of pre-operative questions to discuss with Dr. Brantner at your next consultation.