COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Your health and safety are our top priorities. Learn more about our COVID-19 evaluation and testing and our commitment to providing great care while maintaining the safest environment possible.

Health Library

Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - adult
Site Map

Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - adult

What to ask your doctor about anesthesia - adult

You are scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for you. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor.

I Would Like to Learn About:

Questions

Which type of anesthesia is best for me based on the procedure that I am having?

When do I need to stop eating or drinking before having the anesthesia?

Is it alright to come alone to the hospital, or should someone come with me? Can I drive myself home?

If I am taking the following medicines, what should I do?

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), other arthritis drugs, vitamin E, clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other blood thinners
  • Sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other supplements
  • Medicines for heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, or allergies
  • Other medicines I am supposed to take everyday

If I have asthma, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or any other medical problems, do I need to do anything special before I have anesthesia?

If I am nervous, can I get medicine to relax my nerves before going into the operating room?

After I receive the anesthesia:

  • Will I be awake or aware of what is happening?
  • Will I feel any pain?
  • Will someone be watching and making sure I am ok?

After the anesthesia wears off:

  • How soon will I wake up? How soon before I can get up and move around?
  • How long will I need to stay?
  • Will I have any pain?
  • Will I be sick to my stomach?

If I have spinal or epidural anesthesia, will I have a headache afterward?

What if I have more questions after the surgery? Who can I talk to?

Related Information

Conscious sedation for surgical procedures
General anesthesia
Spinal and epidural anesthesia

References

Apfelbaum JL, Silverstein JH, Chung FF, et al. Practice guidelines for postanesthetic care: an updated report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on postanesthetic care. Anesthesiology. 2013;118(2):291-307. PMID 23364567 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23364567.

Hernandez A, Sherwood ER. Anesthesiology principles, pain management, and conscious sedation. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 14.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 9/3/2018  

Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2020 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.