Anestheisa and associated risks and to dos

Anesthesia helps perform a successful surgical procedure by offering minimal distress and reducing pain in patients. However, sometimes this process may involve some health hazards. To overcome the risks associated with the procedure, patients are advised to take some precautionary measures. These are as follows:

Fast overnight prior to the day of the surgery.

This is one of the most important steps one should follow. If someone is given anesthesia on a full stomach, the risk of vomiting and pulmonary aspiration (spilling of food in the lungs through the air passages during inhalation) considerably increases. Pulmonary aspiration may increase the risk of contracting pneumonia.

Ask your doctor or the attendant to help you move your limbs at regular intervals

You can only do this if you are under partial anesthesia and can still communicate with the doctors. Remember this is important because, there is a high risk of peripheral nerve damage when you are under anesthesia. Nerve damage commonly occurs due to inadequate blood supply to the nerves, owing to compression while lying down steadily for a prolonged period of time. The severity of such a condition varies from one person to another. Commonly the two nerves,namely, the ulnar nerve and the peroneal nerve get affected due to anesthesia. Such a condition can be avoided if the physician helps you change the position of your hands and legs during the surgical procedure.

Discuss options other than general anesthesia with your physician.

There are other anesthetic approaches like local or spinal anesthesia which are sometimes applied on patients as an alternative method for general anesthesia. Ask your doctor if he could suggest another alternative.

Meet your anesthesiology team and discuss the procedure and risks associated with it.

If you suffer from health issues, you can always discuss the anesthetic procedure and risks involved with your anesthesiology team. Also, remember to discuss how these factors can hinder the procedure.

Ask your relatives and family members if they have responded unusually to anesthesia.

Rarely, some people may exhibit unusual reactions to anesthetic exposure. This may even lead to a rise in blood pressure. Experts have evaluated some genetic factors associated with such abnormal reactions. The family members should always share such experiences (if they had undergone anesthesia during the previous surgery) with the patient who must convey these concerns to his or her doctor.

Inform your anesthesiologist if you drink or smoke regularly

If you are a smoker or drink alcohol on a regular basis, you should be honest with your anesthesiologist. He may tell you if these habits are going to interfere with the anesthesia and may also suggest ways for staying away from such habits during and after the surgical procedure. more  

View all 6 comments Below 6 comments
Rajesh Ji, it is good that new generation of doctors are better at least to some extent. It should become a general practice with all doctors. more  
You are right Ali Khan ji. Doctors do not explain here in India, whilst at least in America as I know, it is mandatory for Doctors to explain and they do it without fail. In fact this is listed in the rights of patients.However of late it is being observed that in India the new generation of Doctors do explain to the patient but only if asked for. more  
I have read Durga Prasad ji's comments. I feel that most of our doctors do not discuss anything about the surgery with the patients or attendants. They get uncomfortable if we ask any questions about the disease/procedure. Somehow we seem to accept this as at the time of operation we don't want to annoy the surgeon/doctor for obvious reasons. This has to be changed and changed by the medical community itself. Let us hope for the best. more  
I thank Sneha Goel ji for the very informative post. more  
While this information is very useful to the few who read these pages, I wonder what the whole team of doctors do before and after surgery if they cant even tell and discuss these issues with the patient and their attendants before or after the procedure? After charging lakhs of rupees for even the smallest surgery and a full blown bill for visits of several teams of doctors during the stay, if the patient is not informed of these basic issues, this is pathetic. My father had been admitted for various problems to big hospitals like Fortis, Metro, Kailash etc and many a time I found that the doctors do not even talk to the patient...they see the prescription chart, tell the attending nurse something and move away. I had a hernia surgery under full anesthesia. My son had a ligament rupture and hernia operations at Fortis. Not once in all these cases, an anesthesia doctor visited the patient and advised the patient either the precautions that should be taken or the risks involved by administering anesthesia. Only the final fat bill shows a big charge of the anesthesia doctor. After reading the above post I am literally shocked !
And if a patient asks any questions, the doctors say that they have to follow a protocol for doing a surgery ! Doesn't the protocol say that all information should be divulged to the patient before they get the form signed ( to absolve themselves in case of any mishap !)?
And you and me who are reading this have got this enlightenment ! But what about those millions who undergo surgery and those who don't know to read or write?
The whole system seems to be in a mess and all hospitals have become only profit oriented corporates. more  
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