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Rules Before Getting Anesthesia: How to Prepare

In the medical community, we view anesthesia as a great thing. We are able to help our patients by controlling their level of pain during surgery. Some people may have different perceptions regarding anesthesia, but if you prepare well and work with a trusted surgeon that has experience in administering anesthesia, the results are typically outstanding.

At Oral and Facial Surgeons of Arizona, we regularly administer anesthetics for our surgeries. We want to lessen the overall pain and severity you feel, while also providing a calm, relaxing environment for your procedure. We believe anesthesia can help control your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood flow.

The “Do’s”

As with any medication, there are general rules to follow prior to receiving anesthesia to ensure the best results. Here are some things you can do for a positive outcome with anesthesia:

Fast
In most cases, it is imperative to stop eating and drinking (begin fasting) at least six hours prior to your surgery. Anesthesia generally relaxes your airway and your digestive muscles, which are normally working hard to keep acid and food in your stomach and out of the airway and lungs.

Discuss Medications With Your Doctor
If you take regular medications, Dr. Michael W. Golding or Dr. J. Gregory Sabol may advise you to continue taking them with a small amount of liquid during your fast. Make sure to discuss this with the surgeon beforehand.

Try to Remain Calm
Some patients are nervous to undergo anesthesia. Although it is generally safe, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are relaxed prior to receiving it. Utilize mental relaxation methods, such as meditation or guided imagery.

Plan Ahead for After Surgery
After your surgery with anesthesia, you probably won’t feel well enough to drive. Plan ahead and have a friend or family member drive you home. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours post-operation and help care for you. Do not plan to drive or care for yourself.

The “Don’ts”

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol before and after undergoing anesthesia. You should also remove contact lenses, makeup, and any nail polish. These may interfere with your surgery and could affect the oxygen-tracking devices. Speak with your surgeon regarding your particular surgery to determine if there are any additional don’ts you should follow.