During your surgery, you’ll receive anesthesia to relieve pain and dull sensation. Before your procedure, your anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss your medical history, current condition, and other factors to prepare the anesthetic best for you.
Your anesthesiologist is a highly trained, specialized doctor in charge of administering anesthesia and managing your life functions, such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, during surgery. Should any problems arise during the procedure, they are responsible for diagnosing them and responding accordingly. For your anesthesiologist to provide you with the best care possible, you’ll need to share information about your medical history, medications, and lifestyle.
Both Current and Recent Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs
One of the most important things you can do is tell your anesthesiologist about any prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let them know what medications you are currently taking or have recently used. You may need to stop taking some drugs for a set period before your surgery. Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines may interfere with the anesthetics or prolong bleeding and recovery.
How You’ve Reacted to Other Anesthetics
If you’ve had surgery before, let your anesthesiologist know if you had an adverse reaction to the anesthetic. Be as specific as possible when sharing your symptoms. For example, you may have felt nauseous after waking up. Tell your anesthesiologist how long it took you to wake up, or for how long you felt ill.
Share any known allergies with your anesthesiologist. These won’t just be allergies to medications. Discuss any food allergies too. Even if they don’t seem relevant, keep in mind that some anesthetics trigger cross-allergies, especially in those allergic to soy products and eggs.
If You Take Herbal Supplements
Some herbal supplements have the potential to increase or decrease your blood pressure and heart rate. Other supplements like garlic, ginger, and ginseng may prevent blood clots from forming correctly, which leads to the loss of excess blood.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Your cigarette and alcohol consumption could also impact the way anesthetic drugs work during surgery. Because these products affect your lungs, heart, liver, and blood, it is of the utmost importance that you share past and present lifestyle patterns with your anesthesiologist.
According to recent research, marijuana could affect how patients respond to anesthesia and recover after their surgery. One small study found that marijuana users needed triple the amount of propofol, a common sedation medication, than nonusers.
Let your anesthesiologist know if you use any street drugs, as your safety could be at risk if you don’t share your history. If you feel reluctant to share about any illegal drug use, remember that your conversations are confidential. Your anesthesiologist only wants to ensure that they can do what’s best for your during surgery.
Keeping you safe during your procedure is not a responsibility that your anesthesiologist takes lightly. Their goal is to provide you with safe and comfortable anesthesia. The more information you can share about your lifestyle, medications, and medical history, the better they will be able to achieve a successful surgery.