- What training has my anaesthetist undergone?
To become an anaesthetist, doctors first graduate with a medical degree from university and then work as a doctor for at least two years. They then must be accepted into a specialist training program and spend at least seven years in postgraduate training in the field of anaesthesia before they fully qualify as an anaesthetist and are awarded their fellowship.
- Should I take my regular medication on the day of surgery?
You must disclose all of your medications to your surgeon. As a general rule you should take most of your regular medications up to and including the day of your surgery. However there are some important exceptions:
- If you take insulin or tablets to lower your blood sugar please follow your surgeon’s advice.
- If you are on medications to thin your blood you should discuss this with your surgeon and the doctor who prescribed you the medication.
- Do not take diuretics (water tablets) on the day of surgery.
- Can herbal, dietary and vitamin supplements affect my anaesthetic?
Yes. You must inform your surgeon of any herbal, dietary or vitamin supplements that you take prior to your procedure as these can affect blood pressure and bleeding.
- Do I need to remove nail polish or artificial nails on my fingers and/or toes?
Artificial nails and nail polish do not need to be removed prior to your anaesthetic.
- Why do I need to fast?
Fasting is essential prior to sedation or general anaesthesia. Fasting reduces the risk of regurgitating the contents of the stomach which may lead to damage to the lungs by the stomach acid, this has the potential to be very serious or even fatal. Each hospital has its own instructions that you should follow.
- Can I smoke before my surgery?
Smoking should cease as soon as possible ideally at least 6 weeks prior to your treatment. This increases your fitness and will aid in your recovery. Smoking is not advised within 12 hours of surgery.
- Will I experience nausea or vomiting?
20% – 30% of patient will experience some form of post-operative nausea and/or vomiting. If you have experienced these symptoms following previous surgeries please inform your anaesthetist on the day of your surgery.
- Could I react to a drug under anaesthetic?
It is possible to have an allergic reaction to medications given as part of anaesthesia.
The reaction can vary from mild, such as a rash, to life-threatening known as anaphylaxis. The incidence of anaphylaxis reactions to anaesthetic agents in Australia is 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 20,000.
- What do I need to avoid after surgery?
Sedation and general anaesthesia will affect your judgement and motor skills for 24 hours post procedure. During this time you must not:
- Drive any type of vehicle.
- Operate machinery including cooking implements.
- Make important decisions or sign a legal document.
- Drink alcohol, take other mind-altering substances, or smoke. They may react with the anaesthetic drugs