Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - adult
You are scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for you. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor.
What to ask your doctor about anesthesia - adult
Which type of anesthesia is best for me and the procedure that I am having?
- General anesthesia
- Spinal or epidural anesthesia
- Conscious sedation
When do I need to stop eating or drinking before having the anesthesia?
Is it alright to come alone to the hospital, or should someone come with me? Can I drive myself home?
If I am taking the following medications, what should I do?
- Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), other arthritis drugs, vitamin E, clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot
- Sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis)
- Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other supplements
- Medicines for heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, or allergies
- Other medicines I am supposed to take everyday
If I have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or any other medical problems, do I need to do anything special before I have anesthesia?
During the anesthesia:
- Will I be awake or aware of what is happening?
- Will I feel any pain?
- Will someone be watching and making sure I am okay?
After the anesthesia wears off:
- How soon will I wake up? How soon before I can get up and move around?
- How long will I need to stay?
- Will I have any pain?
- Will I be sick to my stomach?
If I had spinal or epidural anesthesia, will I have a headache afterwards?
What if I have more questions after the surgery? Who can I talk to?
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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