Important Questions to Ask Before Anesthesia

Anesthesia is an important part of any surgery. The type you get depends on your specific needs. The common types of anesthesia include general, local, deep sedation, and regional. Even though Houston has many good anesthesiologists, finding the right one can be a challenge. The following are some of the most important questions for your anesthesiologist in Houston.

1.      Who will be administering it?

This is one of the most important questions. Your anesthesiologist should be licensed and experienced. Some hospitals ensure that you have an anesthesiologist to address your needs. Others work with anesthesiologist assistants or nurse anesthetists. Ask this question and be sure that a professional anesthesiologist will be on site. 

2.      What are the risks?

Even though anesthesia is generally safe, there may be a few risks to using it. Factors that may increase your likelihood of getting complications include:

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney or liver dysfunction
  • Breathing disorders
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking and drug abuse 

If any of the risk factors apply to you, discuss them with your anesthesiologist before surgery. The risks of anesthesia include heart attack, stroke, and infection.

3.      Should I take my blood pressure medication right before surgery?

If you are under medication for your blood pressure, find out if you can continue taking the medication right before surgery. Usually, it is okay to continue taking your medication on the day before surgery. You may need to stop taking medications that may result in dehydration. If your blood pressure is still high on the day of surgery, you may need IV medications to bring it down. 

4.      How can I prepare for it?

There are lots of ways to prepare for anesthesia and your surgery in general. Being in your best shape may improve your experience. You need to ask this question ahead of time, as it is essential that you set aside some time for preparation before the surgery. Some of the most important things to do include reducing obesity, optimizing your blood pressure, and controlling your diabetes. Some of the most important things to do include exercising, eating right, and quitting unhealthy habits like smoking. 

5.      Can I eat or drink past midnight?

The answer to this question is no regardless of your age or reason you need surgery. When you are sedated, the food in your stomach may come back up your throat and into your lungs. It is likely to cause pneumonia which can be fatal. It is especially important to avoid creamy liquids and solid foods as they are riskier. If your surgery is scheduled for the afternoon, it may be okay to have clear liquids in the morning. 

In conclusion, asking the right questions before surgery can have immense benefits. Your anesthesiologist will explain the risks of anesthesia and what you can do to improve your experience. Some of the most important questions to ask include whether you can eat or drink past midnight, the risks associated with anesthesia, and whether you can continue taking your medications.