Things to consider before and after anesthesia

If someone is going to undergo an operation, of course there are things that need to be prepared. Many preparations are made before the operation related to anesthesia (anesthesia). Here are some frequently asked questions regarding anesthesia:

What are the steps to be taken after deciding to have surgery?

After discussing with the surgeon and deciding to operate, the patient will undergo several tests such as blood tests, X-rays, EKG, and other tests as needed. Next, the patient will consult the anesthesiologist to find out the patient's medical history. The patient will be explained about the anesthetic plan that will be carried out.

Why do patients need to fast before surgery?

Fasting is necessary to reduce the possibility of the patient vomiting during anesthesia. It is feared that the vomit could enter the patient's respiratory tract and cause damage to the lungs.

How long is the recommended fasting before surgery?

Consumption of heavy foods such as meat and fat must be stopped no later than 8 hours before surgery. Snacks such as bread, noodles and formula can be given up to 6 hours before surgery. For infants and children, breast milk can be given up to 4 hours before surgery. Consumption of clear liquids such as water or tea is recommended to continue until 2 hours before surgery. If there are medicines that are regularly taken, these medicines can be taken up to 2 hours before surgery. Consumption of these routine medicines needs to be consulted with a doctor before surgery is carried out.

Is it permissible if fasting is longer than recommended?

It is not recommended to fast beyond the duration recommended by the doctor. Prolonged fasting can cause disturbances in the body's physiological balance and cause the body to lack fluids. Another effect is that blood sugar levels become too low and blood pressure and pulse are less stable during anesthesia.

Why must jewelry and dentures be removed before surgery?

The use of jewelry, especially those made of metal, can increase the risk of burns to patients, especially if the operation to be performed is a major operation using a laser/cautery. The use of non-permanent dentures during surgery can endanger the patient's airway, because dentures can fall off and be swallowed when the patient is asleep while under anesthesia.

Why should nail polish and lipstick be removed before surgery?

One of the most important monitors to monitor during surgery is blood oxygen levels, which are measured using a device attached to the patient's finger. If the patient's nails use nail polish, it is feared that it will interfere with the reading of the monitor, and could cause the anesthetist to be unable to recognize if the patient is short of oxygen. Likewise, the use of lipstick will interfere with the anesthesiologist to find out the decrease in oxygen levels in the blood which can be seen through changes in the color of the patient's lips.

When can you start drinking and eating after surgery? Is it necessary to wait fart first?

After surgery the patient may immediately start drinking gradually, especially if the patient is well conscious, there is no feeling of nausea or vomiting. Several studies have shown that giving drinks / food immediately within 1 hour after surgery will reduce the patient's length of stay after surgery. And we no longer use the old belief that the patient farts before he starts drinking.

When is it OK to start moving and walking again after surgery?

After completing the operation, it is strongly recommended that the patient immediately start moving, starting from sitting, turning to the right and left, sitting on the edge of the bed, even standing up and walking. Especially for operations with spinal anesthesia (half body), the patient may start moving 6 hours after surgery. Several studies have shown that the earlier the patient begins to move after surgery, the blood circulation will be smoother, the digestive tract will function better, nausea and vomiting will decrease, wound healing will be faster, pain relief will be faster, and also the incidence of difficulty urinating will be less than before. if the patient is required to lie down completely for 24 hours.

After anesthetizing half of the body, if the patient wakes up immediately, won't it cause a headache?

Headaches after spinal anesthesia used to occur a lot because the needles used for injections in the spine were large. Now the needles used are very fine in size, so the possibility of having a headache after spinal anesthesia is very small. There is a study which found that the incidence of headaches after spinal anesthesia was more common in patients who lay down completely for 24 hours compared to patients who got up immediately within 4-6 hours after spinal anesthesia.

After the anesthetic wears off, will the patient feel pain in the surgical wound?

During the operation, even before the anesthetic wears off, the patient is given painkillers, either by injection, through drugs placed on the skin, or through tablets inserted into the anus, so that the drugs start working when the effects of the anesthetic wear off.

Article written by dr. Adi Pratama, SpAn (Anesthesia Specialist Doctor at EMC Tangerang Hospital).


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