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Preparing for Anesthesia & Surgery

Anesthesia is a safe and effective means of alleviating pain during nearly every type of medical procedure. Patients typically sleep through the surgery or are sedated. Thanks to many advances in medication, technology and education, anesthesia is considered quite safe. The risk of serious complications does exist but is extremely rare. You should take an active role in preparing for anesthesia by communicating and cooperating with your anesthesia professional and surgeon.

You can take comfort in knowing your anesthesia provider will be constantly monitoring every important body function. As changes occur in your reactions to anesthesia, your anesthesia professional responds with modifications to your anesthetic to ensure safety and comfort.


Nausea after surgery used to be a common issue. Now, with improved medications and techniques, less than 10% of patients will have any problems with this issue. Please notify your anesthesia professional if you have had problems with nausea in the past so we can modify your anesthetic to include additional preventative measures to prevent you from having nausea.


You won’t have to worry about pain during surgery. The anesthesia you receive will block pain during surgery. Anesthesia will continue to help with pain after surgery as well. The type of anesthetic and how your body responds to the anesthetic will determine when you will need to start taking pain medication. Your recovery nurse will help you determine when to start taking pain medication as needed on an individual basis.

If you're having orthopedic surgery, you may be receiving a nerve block prior to surgery. The expectation following a nerve block is that you will have no pain for approximately 18-24 hours. Expect that your extremity will be numb for that time until the anesthetic wears off. Inform your anesthesia provider if you have any numbness, tingling or weakness in the surgical extremity prior to anesthesia, or if you have had a similar block in the last 3 months in the same extremity.

Fasting Guidelines

Medications Approved to Take Morning of Surgery

Medications Not to Take Morning of Surgery

Medications to Stop 5 days Prior to Surgery

(increase risk of bleeding)

Medications to Stop 7 Days Prior to Surgery

What Should I tell my Anesthesia Professional?

Before your surgery, let us know the following:

Do I Need Someone to Take Me Home?

YES. Even if you only have a minor procedure, you will typically receive some type of sedation. Legally we cannot send you home if you have received any type of sedation.

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