Medications: Which to take, which to stop
Fasting and Medications
Most medications should be continued before, during and after operations and anaesthesia. Take them at or near the usual time with a sip of water, at least two (2) hours before admission to hospital or 3-4 hours before your expected operation time. Exceptions are:
- Diabetes medications (tablets and injections) should usually be stopped while fasting, to minimise the risk of a ‘hypo’ (which is more dangerous than high sugar levels). Please make a consultation for specific advice for your situation.
- Blood thinners are usually stopped (e.g. aspirin, anti-inflammatories, warfarin, anti-platelet agents such as clopidogrel). You may need to consult with your cardiologist prior, as sometimes the risk of clotting (e.g. cardiac stents) outweighs the risk of bleeding during the operation.
Dex is a drink filled with complex carbohydrates that optimise your body functions. It is medically formulated, safe to have before your anaesthetic by keeping your body nourished and hydrated, eliminating the usual hunger and thirst that precedes surgery.
Also, Dex drink prevents muscle breakdown that occurs with fasting, helping your body repair itself as soon as surgery finishes, and reducing the likelihood of nausea and infection after your operation. It is fructose-free, sucrose-free and has no artificial flavours or colours. It is an energy-dense liquid meal that meets the strict fasting guidelines, and it is suitable for use before surgery, gastroscopy and colonoscopy.
Smoking should be stopped at least 24 hours prior to reducing the risk of wound and chest infection.
There are risks associated with anaesthesia and surgery. Fortunately, significant risks are very rare. Australia is quoted as one of the safest countries in the world for anaesthesia. Some risks to consider are listed below. Please discuss any concerns that you may have at your consultation.
Risks increase with obesity, smoking, co-existing medical conditions and complex surgery.
- Infrequent (<10%): nausea, vomiting, sore throat, bruising/ pain at injection, muscle aches, headache, dizzy
- Rare risks (<1%): breathing difficulty, nerve injury, allergy, teeth/ lip/ tongue injury, infection and blood clots
- Extremely rare (<0.1%): awareness, eye injury, brain/ spinal cord injury, heart attack, lung/ liver/ kidney damage
Options for Your Anaesthesia
The commonest technique; consciousness is lost in a controlled way for the duration of the operation, by the use of a variety of medications at various times. This is usually achieved by injecting drugs through a cannula placed in a vein, and maintained with intravenous drugs or a mixture of gases which you will breathe. It is possible to go to sleep first by breathing on the mask – especially with children.
You remain unaware of what is happening around you, the anaesthetist monitors your condition closely and constantly adjusts the level of anaesthesia. You will usually be asked to breathe oxygen through a mask just before your anaesthesia.
Also called twilight sleep. Less medication is used to speed recovery and minimise nausea. Partial dream-like memories may occur, especially of sounds. Often used for endoscopy and colonoscopy, and some skin and eye operations.
Can be used with or without general anaesthesia or sedation for the operation, and/ or for pain relief after the procedure. Often used for joint replacement and cesarean section.
For arm or leg operations, for example. Can be used with or without general anaesthesia or sedation, and/ or for pain relief after the procedure.
For fingers and skin procedures, for example. Can be used with or without general anaesthesia or sedation, and/ or for pain relief after the procedure.
Anaesthesia Consent will be obtained prior to your procedure, to assist your understanding of the potential risks and complications for your anaesthesia. This varies with the type of operation, anaesthesia, and your medical conditions (if any).
Financial Consent. A specific estimate for your anaesthesia fee can be obtained from Artior Somnus Anaesthesia on 08 8554 6078, by filling in the form on the next page, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consider the questions on the next page before submitting this form.
Please advise the date of surgery, your surgeon, the name of the operation and its likely duration, and your Medicare and Health Fund details. To make this easy for you, please fill in all the fields in the form provided and a member of our team will be in contact with you.
As an indication, out-of-pocket expenses may range from nil to $150 for short procedures, up to $500 for intermediate procedures, and from $1,000-$2,000 for very long or complex procedures (valid 2016). Concessions are made when appropriate – please advise if you hold a concession card.