Before Surgery

Surgery
Before your surgery, an anesthesiologist will perform an examination and evaluation to determine the type of anesthesia you will receive. The anesthesiologist and CRNA will interview you to determine the best combination of drugs and dosages and the degree of how much monitoring is required to ensure a safe and effective procedure.

Your age, weight, medical history, current medications, previous anesthetics, and fasting time will be recorded. Truthful and accurate answering of the questions is important so the anesthetist can select the proper anesthetics. For instance, a heavy drinker or drug user who does not disclose their chemical uses could be under medicated, which could then lead to anesthesia awareness or dangerously high blood pressure. Commonly used medications such as Viagra can interact with anesthesia drugs; failure to disclose such usage can endanger you.

An important aspect of this assessment is that of your airway, involving inspection of your mouth opening and visualization of the soft tissues of the pharynx. The condition of teeth and location of dental crowns and caps are checked, neck flexibility and head extension observed. If an endotracheal tube is indicated and airway management is deemed difficult, then alternative placement methods such as fiber optic intubation may be used.

Eating & Drinking Before Surgery:
If you have had food or drink within a few hours of surgery, there is a higher likelihood that you will vomit while receiving anesthesia. Vomiting increases the risk of complications and should be avoided if possible. Be certain to tell your anesthesiologist what food and drink you have had during the past 12-24 hours. Emergency surgery is an exception to the rule of no eating or drinking shortly before surgery, and special precautions can be taken to minimize the risk. When planning your surgery, ask your surgeon about eating and drinking restrictions.

Intravenous (IV) Line:
Surgery photo

You will most likely have an IV placed into your arm before surgery. The purpose is for the injection of the anesthesia, fluid therapy, plus medications for pain and nausea. Vital Body Sign Sensors:
Before you are put to sleep, sensors may be attached to your body which will connect to monitors in the operating room. These monitors allow the anesthesiologist to monitor your vital body signs. Communicate With Your Anesthesiologist:
During your preoperative examination, please feel free to ask your anesthesiologist any questions you have or to voice concerns. Be certain to inform the anesthesiologist of:
  • What food and drink you have consumed during the past 12-24 hours
  • Any special dental work (false teeth, bridges, etc.)
  • Any bad experience during previous surgeries
  • Any drug allergies

Back to Preparing for Surgery