For some, the thought of “going under” is a very frightening prospect indeed. In the past, anesthesia was a little more risky than it is today. In fact nowadays it’s considered one of the safest areas of healthcare. Though it is extremely rare that there are problems associated with anesthesia, there are still ways to reduce the risks that do exist. Here are a few factors to keep in mind before your next medical procedure involving anesthesia.
Seek the advice of a professional. If you’re concerned with the risks of anesthetics, then you should try to always seek the advice of an anesthesiologist before you “go under”. They will talk you through the potential risks to you as an individual rather than speaking in broad terms like this article attempts to do. You might want to consult the professionals at Premier Anesthesia to get an idea of what sort of anesthesia might be right for your particular case. It’s important to analyze the risks that might be specific to you due to your age, health or any conditions you might have. There are always different solutions to these kinds of issues, so be as transparent as possible about your health status.
Talk to your family. Although it’s very rare, on occasion some people do have an allergic reaction to anesthesia, such as spikes in blood pressure, which can, in some cases, be quite dangerous. It is, however, a genetic condition so asking your family members whether they are aware of any allergic reaction to anesthesia should give you good peace of mind when it comes to being anesthetized yourself. In the case that you do have a family member who is allergic to anesthesia or has had a bad experience in the past, you’ll want to let your doctor know immediately, as there are a number of ways to deal with this condition.
Follow the doctor’s orders. There is a very good reason why a doctor gives a patient certain instructions about eating and drinking before going under. This advice is the most important advice the doctor will give you. If you eat food after midnight the day before the operation, there is a chance that you could vomit up your food and potentially breathe it in. This can not only lead to something called aspiration pneumonia but it can also make it impossible to get oxygen into your lungs during the anesthesia process, and without oxygen systems in your body could fail – and you might die. If you do eat after midnight, then your surgery may need to be postponed. Also, all vitamins and herbal medicines should be stopped during the week leading up to your surgery as they can interfere with the anesthetics.
Another risk with anesthetics that is often not addressed is that occasionally they occasionally don’t work for some people. This is obviously extremely rare, but occasionally a patient will be half awake during the surgery, which can be quite traumatic. Usually, you will work with your doctor to discuss all of your anesthesia risks so that you aren’t surprised or have to deal with complications.