Advertisement

What should I tell my anesthesiologist during my preoperative exam?

Patients should tell their anesthesiologist about their medical history, surgical history and other markers of health.

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Our anesthesiologist will call my preoperative patients 1 week prior to surgery to discuss the upcoming procedure and history of anesthesia. The patient will discuss medical history, anesthesia history, allergy status, pregnancy status, history of malignant hyperthermia and current medications. The type of anesthesia to be performed (local, intravenous sedation, general anesthesia) will be discussed as well as the risks and complications that can occur. A well informed patient greatly reduces post-operative problems after surgery.

Debra Fulghum Bruce PhD
Healthcare Specialist
If your surgery is to be immediate, you may not have the chance to talk at length with your anesthesiologist. This doctor specializes in the elimination of pain and sensation for patients undergoing surgery and maintains your life while the normal triggers for breathing are anesthetized. However, if you are planning for surgery, it is standard to meet with this person during the preoperative exam. Whether you meet your anesthesiologist a week ahead or five minutes before surgery, make sure he or she knows about any other health problems you may have (lung disease, heart problems, chronic illness); any problems with anesthesia or intubation in the past; your desire to be awake during surgery; any allergies; any problems, such as malignant hyperthermia or latex allergy; and any medications you are taking, including blood thinners, herbs, and dietary supplements.
The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

More About this Book

The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

Are you one of the 80 million North American women suffering from the chronic pain of:* Menstrual cramps* Fibromyalgia* Headaches * Carpal tunnel syndrome* Back or neck pain?Starting today, you can...

Anesthesia and surgery affect your entire system, so it is important for your anesthesiologist to know as much about you as possible. During a preoperative visit, an anesthesiologist will carefully evaluate you and your medical history and will inquire about your recent medications. In addition, this physician will inform you about the procedures associated with your surgery, discuss the anesthetic choices, their risks and benefits, order appropriate laboratory tests and prescribe medication for you, if needed, before your operation. If you have not met your anesthesiologist during a preoperative interview, you will meet immediately before your surgery. At this time, your anesthesiologist will review your entire medical chart for a clear understanding of your needs and medical condition.

Continue Learning about Talking To Your Doctor

Do’s and Don’ts for Emailing Your Doctor
Do’s and Don’ts for Emailing Your Doctor
You can order a pizza, a latte, movie tickets or your next car online…so why is it so darned hard to email your doc? According to a new report, doctor...
Read More
When should I call my doctor after having surgery?
Vickie Pettigrew, RNVickie Pettigrew, RN
If you’re still having pain or nausea after surgery, call your surgeon, says Vicki Pettigrew, RN, of...
More Answers
What are the essential things I should discuss with my doctor?
Joane GoodroeJoane Goodroe
Before you go to the doctor, think about your concerns and questions you want answered. If you have ...
More Answers
What Are the Top Questions I Should Ask My Doctor?
What Are the Top Questions I Should Ask My Doctor?

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.