Your doctor has scheduled an appointment for your surgery. Now what?
Being informed about the procedure and the anesthesia can ease worry.
There are a multitude of questions you might have that are specific to your condition and procedure, but here are four questions for your anesthesiologist you will want to ask before your surgery.
What kind of anesthesia will be used?
There are several kinds of anesthesia: local, regional, and general. Which kind you will receive depends on the type of procedure performed, the approximate length of the surgery, and your physical condition.
Local anesthesia means you stay awake throughout the procedure. The anesthesia is injected directly into the tissue to numb a local area. This kind is usually used for minor surgeries.
For regional anesthesia, you will either be awake or sedated. Two examples of this anesthesia are spinal and epidural anesthesia. Anesthesia will be injected near a cluster of nerves to numb a part of your body.
Under general anesthesia you will remain unconscious and your vital signs will be monitored closely by an anesthesiologist. Once the procedure is over, the anesthesiologist will reverse the drug reaction, and you’ll wake up in the recovery room.
Primarily, the anesthesiologist will decide which one of these to use, but the decision also depends on the surgeon’s needs and your preference as a patient.
How will my body’s vital signs be monitored during anesthesia?
The anesthesiologist stays inside the operation room with you during the duration of the procedure. He uses precision instruments to monitor all of your vital signs. Since anesthesia effects your breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure, it is necessary for these bodily functions to be monitored while being under.
How will the anesthesiologist know how much anesthesia to give me?
There is no one-fits-all amount. Anesthesia must be tailored to the individual receiving it because everyone has a different response to it. The factors that play a role when anesthesiologists decide on the amount are: age, weight, gender, specific illnesses, and medications you might be taking. The anesthesiologist carefully adjusts the anesthesia while monitoring you during surgery.
Can I take my regular medications?
In order to avoid an interaction between the anesthesia and other medications, it is important to let your anesthesiologist know which medications you’re currently taking. Your anesthesiologist will advise you on which you should continue and which ones to stop taking.