Things to Ask & Tell Your Doctor Prior to Surgery

Are you scheduled for surgery? It pays to know about your surgery and the medical team who will perform it. A patient who takes the time to become well-informed about the procedures involved is usually more assured and contented. Here are a few simple tips to prepare for the big day.

Ask Your Surgeon About Your Anesthesia Options

The choice of anesthesia largely depends on the type of surgery you’ll be undergoing. Local anesthesia will only numb a particular area of the body, regional anesthesia covers a bigger area, and general anesthesia will numb the entire body.

On the subject of anesthesia, don’t fear waking up in the middle of your procedure while under anesthesia. Becoming fully aware is rare; an estimated two out of 1,000 anesthetized people acquire awareness. The probability of awareness is higher in high-risk procedures like heart surgery or caesarian section.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure

Inform your doctor about your blood pressure concerns or if you’re on medication. It is important to ensure that your medical team, particularly your anesthesiologist, knows about these things because they will be monitoring your vital signs, including your blood pressure, during surgery.

Inform Your Doctors About Your Health Conditions or Medications

Do you have a medical condition? Are you taking medication? These are some of the many important things that you need to convey to your surgeon. Inform your doctor about health issues, if you have any, such as high blood pressure, allergies, diabetes, heart problems and the like.

This is particularly true if you are at a high risk for blood clots. It can be very life-threatening because blood clots increase the risk of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

To avoid medication mishaps or at least minimize the likelihood of allergic reaction, you should also inform your surgeon regarding the medicines you are currently taking. Your doctor can advise you which one to stop before your scheduled surgery.

If you are taking nutritional supplements, you should also tell your surgeon about it. Fish oils, ginseng, ginkgo biloba and others have the tendency to increase surgery risks, causing bleeding or heart-related problems. In many cases, doctors advise patients to withhold supplements for weeks before the scheduled surgery.

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