We perform surgery under general anesthesia for both aesthetic and reconstructive purposes. Whatever the reason for choosing to undergo an operation, many patients have most concerns for the anesthesia.
Please see the information below about what happens before, during and after the anesthesia, the types of anesthesia available, risks and common questions and answers.
Preparation for anesthesia and surgery
Prior to anesthesia, it is important to review your general health. A timely and accurately filled out health declaration must be made before surgery is booked. It may therefore be wise to consider the following things in advance:
- Past and present illnesses
- Previous surgeries
- Current and recent (past month) use of medications
- Previous anaesthetics and possible complications associated with these
- Relatives who have had problems related to anesthesia
- Current weight
- Loose teeth / bridges or braces
- Motion sickness
Pay particular attention to inform the anaesthetist if you have symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties. These diseases can increase the risks of complications associated with general anaesthesia. It is also important that you notify us if you are taking any form of medication.
To think about before surgery
Control high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure this should be checked several times during the month before the day of surgery. Contact us if your blood pressure is too high.
Withhold medications containing oestrogen
We encourage you to stop hormone replacement therapy containing oestrogen
(eg, combination oral contraceptives, oestrogen for menopause) one month before and one month after the surgery.
Abstain from smoking
You should not smoke during the four weeks before and four weeks after the procedure. The operation result may otherwise be compromised and there may be increased risk of delayed healing, unsightly scars and other complications.
Avoid certain supplements
Herbal and dietary supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E should be avoided 2 weeks before scheduled surgery due to the risk of unwanted effects.
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents
Painkillers containing acetylsalicylic acid (eg Aspirin , Nu-Seals Aspirin) are best to avoided one week prior to surgery as these increase the risk of bleeding. For the same reason NSAIDs (eg, aspirin, naproxen , diclofenac , Voltarol ), shoud be avoided three days before elective surgery .
Medications such as Paracetamol and Arcoxia are fine to use.
You are receiving prolonged treatment with aspirin or NSAIDs because of chronic joint or muscle problems you should consult your general practitioner before changing or stopping these drugs.
Medicines for high blood pressure should be taken as prescribed, even on the day of surgery. If necessary, anticoagulants will be prescribed to minimize the risks of surgery.
After the surgery you will be given a prescription for pain relieving medication
It is very important to follow these instructions because of the risk of vomiting during anesthesia. This can cause very serious complications in the respiratory system.
The rules for this distinguish between different foods depending on how quickly they leave the stomach. Liquid stays a shorter time in the stomach than solid food and thus require a shorter period of fasting. However, different drinks require different periods of fasting. For example orange juice, yogurt and soft drinks with carbon dioxide require longer periods of fasting from water, apple juice, and coffee.
Do not eat any solid food for six hours prior to the specified time of surgery. This also applies to soup, yogurt or any similar food in any amount.
You can drink water, juice, tea or coffee without milk up until four hours before the procedure.
Questions and answers about anaesthesia
Are there different types of anaesthesia?
There are three main types of anaesthesia:
1. Local anesthesia:
A local anesthetic is injected into the specific area to be operated on. Minor surgical procedures can thus be performed with good pain relief. One can also combine with smaller doses of sedatives (sedation), which means that you feel calm at the same time and less anxious.
2. Regional anaesthesia:
The anaesthetist puts a block in the area of the nerves that supply a larger area eg the legs. There are many variations of regional anaesthesia, but the most common are spinal and epidural anesthesia, commonly called an epidural. The block provides good analgesia and one can be awake during the surgery. It is common to combine this with sedation to increase comfort.
3. General Anesthesia:
Means that you are completely asleep and feel no pain or discomfort. General anesthesia is very closely monitored. To ensure adequate breathing usually a tube is passed through the mouth into the throat or trachea. There are a variety of anesthetics. Some are given directly into a vein in the arm others are sedatives that are inhaled. We always use the most modern anaesthetic that quickly goes out of the body, giving little risk of nausea and you recover quickly from the anesthesia.
Anaesthesia is dangerous?
The last 25 years has developed very general anesthesia and the risks today are very low. All to be anesthetized undergo a risk assessment by the anesthetist.
Some medical conditions carry an increased risk such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. For the anesthesia to be carried out safely, it is important that the anesthetist is aware of your health situation and the diseases that exist.
What are the risks of anesthesia?
All operations and all anesthetics carry a risk, but it depends on many factors for example, type of surgery and health status. For the vast majority, the risk is negligible. The fear many people experience before anesthesia is usually normally but there is no need to feel that way.
How do the anesthesiologist know how much anesthetic needs to be given?
There is no standard dose. All levels are customized for the individual for which the operation to be performed and the individual. We all react differently to anesthesia. The differences depend on, among other things, genetic factors, metabolic rate, health status and morbidity. The amount of anesthetic will vary due to factors such as weight, age, sex, medication and diseases. Under general anesthesia the following are monitored, measured and recorded: heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, respiratory rate, breath, volume and content of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and oxygen saturation. Since every patient is unique, the choice of anesthetic and method tailored.
Why you need to fast before surgery?
It is very important that the stomach is empty before a surgery that requires general anesthesia or sedation. With anesthetic the reflexes in the throat disappear. Stomach contents can thus come up into the throat and mouth or through the trachea into the lungs. The stomach contents contain acid, which can burn lung tissue causing severe pneumonia.
Why do I end up with herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements before surgery?
There are adverse effects in combination with the drugs that we provide in connection with the operation. Some can cause increased bleeding, others may increase blood pressure. Some enhance or prolong the effects of painkillers.
We recommend that you stop taking any supplements two weeks before surgery and wait until you no longer have to take painkillers before resuming the use of herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
Do you have to stop taking medication before surgery?
It is important to inform your doctor before the surgery what medications you are taking. You will normally continue to take most medications as usual even on the day of surgery. If you have diabetes or are using blood thinners, you must tell you doctor at the consultation stage.