Anaesthesia Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the risks of anaesthesia?

 

Serious anaesthesia complications, such as brain damage or death, are exceptionally rare. Generally healthy adults and children tolerate anaesthesia well. Whenever possible, elective dental surgery should be avoided when you are ill. Dr. Eickmeier should be informed of all medical conditions and all medications the patient is taking. He should also be informed of any anaesthetic problems the patient or any blood relative has experienced, as there are some rare hereditary conditions, which are associated with a greater risk.

 

Although dental surgery is usually quite routine, the anaesthesia team extensively monitors patients while they are asleep. All precautions are taken to ensure the patient’s safety while he or she is asleep.

 

Do anaesthesia complications tend to run in families?

 

They can.  It is important to know if any blood relatives have had serious problems with anesthesia such as a high fever (malignant hyperthermia) or not breathing, as some of these problems can be hereditary. Relatives may have had nausea with anaesthesia. 

 

What can the patient eat or drink prior to general anaesthesia?

 

In general, the patient should not eat food for eight hours or drink anything, even water, for four hours before surgery. This is why we advise nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night prior to surgery.  The stomach must be empty to avoid possible anaesthesia complications. Our staff will provide specific instructions about what time the patient should stop eating and drinking.

 

Can a family member be with a patient while anesthesia is given?

 

Generally, all family members are asked to wait in a specified area outside the operating area while the patient is taken to the operating room.  The operating room is an area that is kept safe and secure for the patient only - this is of paramount importance, and why others are not allowed inside this safe zone.

 

Will I wake up during anaesthesia?

 

The team monitors the vital signs of you or your child, and medications are carefully adjusted to ensure comfort.  Awareness under anaesthesia is always possible, but usually the only memory is that of waking up and hearing the staff letting you know that we are almost done, or completely done with the procedure. 

 

Summary

 

Anaesthesia is generally very safe. Complications may be minimized by avoiding food and drink before general anesthesia and postponing elective surgery if the patient is ill. Modern anaesthesia allows surgery to be performed without pain or anxiety.