Preparing For Your Surgery
It’s perfectly normal to have questions prior to surgery, and we hope the following information will begin to answer many of those questions. Of course, you should still feel free to discuss any concerns with your anesthesia provider prior to your procedure. Our anesthesia care team here at The Surgery Center wants you to be completely comfortable with your experience.
- As a general rule, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. Under some circumstances, you may be given permission by your anesthesiologist to drink clear liquids up to a few hours before your anesthesia.
- If you smoke, the sooner you quit before surgery, the better.
- You will need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your anesthetic or sedation. You will not be allowed to leave alone or drive yourself home. If you have local anesthesia only, with no sedation, it may be possible to go home without someone to accompany you, but check with your doctor first.
- You may need to discontinue certain medications prior to surgery. Some medications should be taken and others should not. It is important to discuss this with your anesthesiologist. Do not interrupt medications unless your anesthesiologist or surgeon recommends it.
Preparing for Recovery
Be prepared to go home and finish your recovery there. Patients often experience drowsiness and minor after-effects following anesthesia, including muscle aches, sore throat and occasional dizziness or headaches. Nausea also may be present, but vomiting is less common. These side effects usually decline rapidly in the hours following surgery, but it may take several days before they are gone completely. The majority of patients do not feel up to their typical activities the next day, usually due to general tiredness or surgical discomfort. Plan to take it easy for a few days until you feel back to normal. Know that a period of recovery at home is common and to be expected.
You will receive verbal and written instructions for your specific care plan, but in general, you should refrain from drinking alcohol, driving a car, or making important decisions within 24 hours of having anesthesia.
Understanding Different Types of Anesthesia
There are three main categories of anesthesia, each having many forms and uses. They are:
- In general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness or other sensations. There are a number of general anesthetic drugs – some are gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and others are medications introduced through a vein.
- In regional anesthesia, your anesthesia provider makes an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or you may be given a sedative; either way you do not see or feel the actual surgery taking place. You may also receive a regional block for pain control along with being administered a general anesthetic.
- In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of your body requiring minor surgery.
If you have questions about your anesthesia care, you are strongly encouraged to openly communicate with your anesthesia provider. At The Surgery Center, we are constantly focused on service and genuine patient concern. We want to create a positive experience for every patient and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.