What do I need to tell the anesthesiologist?

It is very important to share your health history, past surgical experiences, especially previous experiences with severe pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting and types of anesthetics that were used. You should provide a complete list of medications, supplements, and vitamins. Medication adjustments (such as anticoagulants, "blood thinners") may need to be adjusted by your health care provider, in preparation for surgery. Additionally, an unexplained death of a family member or the genetic condition, Malignant Hyperthermia, should be disclosed preoperatively with the anesthesiologist and surgeon. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Before surgery, you'll have a talk with the anesthesiologist to go over some basic info. Be certain that you have that chat and that you're wholly forthcoming with this doctor. You need to meet the anesthesiologist face to face and give him or her some dirt, including the last time you had general anesthesia, exactly how much you drink, what drugs you use and how often.

People who use substances recreationally can keep their habit hidden from lots of people, but they'd better be upfront with the anesthesiologist because narcotics and other drugs can increase tolerance to sedation (and you don't want to be wide awake when the surgeon asks for the knife).

The anesthesiologist also needs to know how much you exercise, any allergies you have, and every medication and herbal supplement you take.

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

More About this Book

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...

Continue Learning about Anesthesia for Surgical Procedures

How prevalent is anesthesia awareness?
Yael S. Varnado-Rhodes, MDYael S. Varnado-Rhodes, MD
Thankfully, the prevalence of anesthesia awareness is not very high; generally, less than 1% of the ...
More Answers
What are natural treatments for anesthesia side effects after surgery?
Dr. Toni VarelaDr. Toni Varela
Many anesthetics are metabolized by the liver, so it's generally a good idea to support the liver wi...
More Answers
Why might my child have regional anesthesia during surgery?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
It has become possible to provide pain relief to specific areas of the body rather than give general...
More Answers
What is ambulatory anesthesia?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
Ambulatory anesthesia is given to a patient in an ambulatory (or outpatient) surgery facility. Ambul...
More Answers

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.