How can I help prevent having anesthesia awareness?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Here are some activities that can help you stay asleep during surgery.

Meet your anesthesiologist. If you know in advance that you will be requiring surgery, make it a point to know and meet your anesthesiologist before the surgery takes place. He or she should be able to explain the type of anesthesia you will be receiving, and to discuss their policy for protecting patients from anesthesia awareness.

Report all remembrances you have during surgery to your surgeon and anesthesiologist even if they occur days or weeks later.

Tell all your doctors everything you are taking. This is the time to be honest about every over-the-counter remedy, prescription medication, recreational drug, herbal or dietary supplement you are taking, as well as alcohol consumption, because some will affect how much anesthesia needs to be given.

Find out your family's history with anesthesia. If there is a genetic propensity for anesthesia awareness, other family members (including children) may have experienced it. Their history can be a forewarning for the potential in you.

As a patient, the most crucial thing you can do to prevent anesthesia awareness is communicate openly with your doctor before surgery, so your individual needs are taken into account. Watch anesthesiologist Yael Varnado, MD, explain why this is key.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.