Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Steps to take to make your surgery safer

Anesthesia is a somewhat mysterious situation--and can be tricky. Yet, modern technology has made being rendered unconscious to the point where even pain will not rouse you and you can't breathe on your own, safer than ever.

According to J.P. Abenstein, MD, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, most people are unaware of the crucial role of the anesthesiologist and how to interact with this practitioner to make surgery even safer.

Abenstein urges patients to meet with their anesthesiologist and share all information about lifestyle, health, family history and even their fears.

There will be anesthesia care plan--supervised by a physician specializing in anesthesia, pain, and critical care medicine--or there should be.

You need to meet with this person--and I think they mean besides the brief confab outside the operating room door, where the anesthesiologist says you won't feel a thing and pats your arm. This should be about diabetes, smoking, lung problems, kidney disease, allergies, the over-the-counter things you take, supplements, vitamins, Are you sedentary, how far can you walk...Have you or anyone in you family had a bad experience.

They should ask if you are afraid. They should discuss your recovery, where the anesthesia team will continue to take care of you.

Well, this sounds pretty utopian to me! I have never had this conversation--and I have had pretty bad anesthesia. Also you should know that your breathing will be stopped and monitored by the doctor--that is scary.

Can you insist on this level of care? I honestly don't know. But if I ever succumb to surgery again, I will try!

Also--I once had a partially completed colonoscopy--they told me in advance they would discuss it with me while I was still groggy--how stupid is that?

No comments: