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When patients know that they are going to undergo anesthesia for any procedure, in addition to a bit of nervousness, there are often a multitude of questions about the procedure. One of the most commonly asked questions is “What should I do to prepare for the process?”

Everyone’s body and health are different, so be sure to consult specifically with your physician about what you’ll need to do to make sure the procedure is safe for you, But these are some general tips and suggestions that one should be aware of when they know they will be undergoing anesthesia:

 

Fasting

As you know, anesthesia relaxes your muscles. When you go under, the muscles that control your digestive tract, and keep your digesting food and stomach acids in your stomach will be relaxed as well. Fasting helps to prevent the patient from developing a type of pneumonia that is caused by inhaling partially digested food, stomach acids, and liquids into the lungs.

It’s important to fast to ensure that you don’t put yourself in danger. Typically, the fasting period is about 6 hours before the surgery takes place.

 

Sleep Apnea

If you are aware of the fact that you suffer from sleep apnea, be SURE to notify your doctor/surgeon. With the slowed state of your body, it will be incredibly important to monitor your breathing patterns before, during, and after your operation.

 

Vitamins & Supplements

Note: It is strongly recommended that all individuals who are taking vitamins or herbal supplements inform their general practitioner before they begin their new regimen.

If you are taking any kinds of supplements, but specifically those containing ginseng, garlic, kava, you must let your doctor know. Those herbs can cause complications during your surgery and healing process. For example, garlic acts as a blood thinner, and having large amounts of blood in your system can increase your risk of bleeding during or after surgery.

 

Diabetics

Diabetic patients already have a delicate relationship with blood sugar, so fasting may lead to different complications with your health. Speak with your physician about the fasting period, as well as whether or not you should reduce your insulin dosage.


For more information on the preparation period, and to see the source for this blog post, visit the Mayo Clinic website.