5 Critical Questions to Ask Your Anesthesiologist Before Surgery

Whether it’s elective or necessary for your health, surgery can sometimes be frightening to think about. Most procedures require some kind of sedation, which means that you’ll meet with an anesthesiologist before the surgery begins. Asking a few questions can sometimes take a bit of the anxiety away.

1. Who Is Responsible?
One of the first things that you need to ask would be who is administering your anesthesia. You want to ensure that the person is experienced and understands the side effects that are common when anesthesia is given. If you’ve been seeing a specialist for a medical issue, then the doctor likely has an anesthesiologist who works with the office who will administer your medication.

2. Ask About Complications
When you meet with the anesthesiologist for the first time, ask about common side effects and the likelihood that they would occur. You’ll usually need to be in your best health before surgery is performed, which can decrease the risk of complications. Find out if medications could react with the anesthesia and the possibility of paralysis or other issues that could arise because of the medications.

3. Breathing
If you’re only being sedated, then you probably won’t need to have a breathing tube placed. This is one of the questions that you need to ask before surgery because if the anesthesiologist does need to place a tube to help with breathing, then it usually means that you’ll have general anesthesia instead of only being sedated. Let the doctor know if there are any medical issues that could make it difficult for a breathing tube to be inserted.

4. Medications
Ask your anesthesiologist if you need to stop taking any medications before surgery or if there are medications that won’t react with the sedatives given. If you’re having a lengthy procedure, then you might be asked to stop taking medications with aspirin in them as well as blood thinners.

5. Drinking And Eating
One of the reasons why you’re asked not to drink or eat anything the night before surgery is often because of the anesthesia you’ll receive. Talk to the anesthesiologist about small amounts that might be alright to consume after midnight if your surgery is scheduled for later in the day. If you’re having emergency surgery, then medications can usually be given to help with nausea and vomiting that could result in an infection in your lungs if you happen to have a reaction to the medications.

Surgery is sometimes required to fix health issues if other treatments don’t work. Anesthesia is given in some way so that you’re comfortable during the procedure. Before surgery, make a list of questions that you might have for the anesthesiologist or even a few concerns that you might want to address to help alleviate your fears.

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