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Before Having Anesthesia

Anesthesia is administered by either physician anesthesiologists or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) working under the supervision of the anesthesiologist.

There are risks involved in virtually any medical procedure, and anesthesia is no exception. Fortunately though, for most healthy people, complications are rare.

Before your surgery occurs, staff will want to become acquainted with you and obtain any needed medical information. This could include:

Special tests – Your health-care provider may order lab tests, X-rays or other screenings for you.

A pre-op interview – Before your surgery, you’ll meet with a pre-op testing nurse and an Anesthesia Department member to discuss anesthesia. The anesthesiologist’s job is to recommend a type of anesthetic which is safe for you, given your medical history.

Be prepared to talk about:

  • any chronic medical conditions you might have, such as heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.
  • prescription and over-the-counter medications; herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements; or any other remedies you use
  • any allergic reactions you may have to medicines, latex (such as that used in gloves}, etc.
  • your use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. (What you say in a medical interview is confidential— it’s vital that you are honest about your habits, for your own safety when you undergo a medical procedure.)

If you are healthy you may not be required to come in for a pre-operative interview. Most of the information may be obtained over the phone. If that is the case, your anesthesiologist will meet with you on the day of your surgery.

Follow directions exactly before and on the day of your surgery, taking any necessary medications. It’s extremely important for you to follow these instructions carefully and exactly.

For further information, call Holyoke Medical Center’s pre-op testing nurse at 534-2505.

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