What does your anaesthetist do?
- assess your health
- determine the type of anaesthetic that is best and safest for you
- administer your anaesthesia
- monitor and care for you constantly throughout your procedure
- organise and monitor your immediate post operative care including pain management
Your pre-anaesthetic consultation
Between the time you are admitted to hospital and are taken to the operating theatre, your anaesthetist will consult with you regarding your anaesthesia. This discussion may include:
- your general health
- your medications
- allergies and/or reactions to drugs or foods
- any previous anaesthesia you may have undergone
- the anaesthesia you will be undergoing and what you can expect
- risks and complications of this anaesthesia
- any questions or concerns you have
- the fee for the service
Risks and complications
Australia is one of the safest places in the world to undergo an anaesthetic but, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications.
Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, sore throat and drowsiness.
Significant risks are often dependent on your state of health and the surgical and anaesthetic procedures being undertaken. Specific and significant risks will be discussed with you where appropriate.
More information can be obtained in the Patient Information section of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists website: http://www.asa.org.au
Types of Anaesthesia
Your anaesthesia will vary depending upon the part of the body involved, the procedure being performed, your health and personal wishes and the assessment by your anaesthetist.
where you are put into a controlled state of unconsciousness and then woken up after your procedure.
where you will have a decreased awareness of your surroundings. Some patients may have little or no recall of the procedure afterwards.
which includes nerve block, spinal block or epidurals. This anaesthetic numbs the general surgical area and to ensure your comfort, may be given in conjunction with sedation.
where local anaesthetic is injected directly into the surgical site, numbing the general area. This may also be given in conjunction with sedation.
Following your procedure
You will be moved to a post anaesthetic care unit where you will be closely monitored.
In the immediate post operative period you will be drowsy and may be administered oxygen, pain killers and anti-nausea medication.
You will taken back to the ward when sufficiently awake, stable and comfortable.
Helpful hints for you
You can make your anaesthetic safer by following these guidelines.
- If you can, try to improve your fitness by consuming less alcohol and stopping smoking in the lead up to your procedure.
- Inform your surgeon and anaesthetist of any health problems you have.
- Ensure your surgeon and anaesthetist are aware of any medications you are taking.
- Ask which of your regular medications should be stopped prior to your procedure/anaesthesia and which should be continued.
- Cease herbal medications for 2 weeks prior to your procedure if possible.
- Do not eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your planned procedure unless instructed otherwise.
- Contact our office if you have any queries or concerns regarding your anaesthetic.