Anesthesia is what made modern surgery possible as it eliminates pain completely. In fact, with the development of safe and effective anesthesia, the myths and other risks associated with the use of anesthesia has been put to rest. There are different types of anesthesia—general anesthesia, IV/monitored sedation, regional anesthesia, and local anesthesia—and these are used according to the surgical procedure that is being performed.
Anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist, a doctor who undergoes several years of specialized training that makes them eligible to administer anesthesia to the patients. At times, anesthesia can also be administered by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) who has completed advanced training in anesthesia. Though over the course of time, the use of anesthesia has been declared to be safe and does not have major side-effects on the patient, there are certain steps you need to undertake to prepare yourself for anesthesia before the surgery.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists asserts that if you follow the below-mentioned steps, you are more likely to avoid any complications that arise due to anesthesia.
Stop using herbal supplements
In case you are using any herbal supplement for completely different purposes, it is advisable to stop using those at least two weeks prior to the surgery. These alternative medications are known to interfere with the anesthesia that can lead to complications during and after the surgery, such as a sudden plunge or spurt in the blood pressure.
Stop taking certain medications
The doctor will advise you to stop using certain medications that you usually take for a few days or more before the surgery. This is because these medications tend to mix with anesthesia and the results are far from pleasant. Moreover, you will need to stop taking medications like blood thinners and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) before the surgery as these can make you bleed more during the surgery. So, it is advisable to consult with the doctor regarding the medications that you are allowed to take and the ones to avoid before the surgery.
Inform the doctor about your family history
It is imperative that you disclose your family history to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist as it will help them gauge any problems that can possibly arise during and after the surgery. Certain health complications that run in the family like malignant hyperthermia or other conditions can react with anesthesia and give rise to unpleasant situations. So, it is advisable to familiarize the doctor and anesthesiologist with your family history.
Additional things your anesthesiologist should know
In addition to your family history, there are certain other things your anesthesiologist should be aware of. You have to let them know if you:
- Have an allergy to latex, rubber, or medicines
- Have asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems
- Smoke, drink alcohol, or take street drugs
- Take NSAIDs or other steroid medications
- Are pregnant
- Reacted to anesthesia in the past
- Have a health condition such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, thyroid disease, heart problems, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease
Informing your anesthesiologist about these factors can be life-saving as it shields you from any potential mishap that could have been triggered by them.