Anesthesia has been used for over a hundred years in hospitals and puts you in a sleep-like state before a surgical procedure. Although the risks of anesthesia are very low these days, it’s still possible to experience them. Risks become more likely if anesthesiologists don’t monitor patients carefully.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of anesthesia.
Discuss the Alternatives to Anesthesia
If the idea of being put under makes you nervous, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about other options. Although general anesthesia is necessary for certain procedures, it might not be required for others. For example, you may be able to get local anesthesia, which poses fewer risks.
Meet With the Anesthesiology Team
If possible, arrange a time to meet with the anesthesiology team to discuss anesthesia in further detail. Have them explain all the anesthesia risks in full detail and find out if any of your health conditions raise your risk of complications. The more you know about your risk factors, the better you will feel about getting anesthesia.
Tell Your Doctor If You’ve Ever Had a Bad Reaction to Anesthesia
If you’ve ever had any issues with anesthesia in the past, inform your doctor right away. Don’t just assume that he or she knows everything about your medical history. If you explain the details of your reaction, your doctor will find a way to reduce the risk of it happening again.
Don’t Eat Before Your Surgery
Your doctor will likely advise you to stop eating six to eight hours before your surgery. It’s important to follow these instructions. If you eat right before you go under anesthesia, you may regurgitate some of the food into your lungs. That’s why it’s best to try and schedule the surgery as early in the morning as possible. If your procedure is in the early morning, you won’t have as much time to feel hungry.
If you smoke tobacco, it’s a wise idea to quit at least a week before your surgery. Smoking can increase your risk of breathing problems, infections and pneumonia.
If you’re currently overweight, you face many more risks with anesthesia. Excess weight can make it more difficult to place breathing tubes and increase your risk of infections and breathing problems. Your doctor will likely want for you to shed some weight before you undergo surgery and anesthesia.
Consulting With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you suffered anesthesia complications that were due to your doctor’s carelessness, you should speak to a hospital negligence lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. You may be eligible for compensation. A skilled lawyer can review your case and advise you the best way to proceed.