About Our Anaesthetists
- This document will outline some important information regarding anaesthesia for your forthcoming operation
- It is intended to help prepare you for your anaesthetic and help you understand the efforts that are made to ensure your safety
What is the role of the anaesthetist?
- An anaesthetist is a fully qualified doctor who has undergone at least 5 years of specialised training
- Anaesthetists are trained to look after patients prior, during and after surgery
- The anaesthetist makes preoperative assessments of any medical conditions that you to ensure you are provided with safe care during and after your surgery
- Anaesthetists are also actively involved in the management of post surgical pain and other problems for as long as necessary
What should I tell my anaesthetist?
Your anaesthetist needs to know about your state of health
You should inform us about:
- Any significant illnesses such as asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, etc.
- Any problems you experienced with previous anaesthetics
- Any allergies to drugs, medications, sticky tapes, etc.
- Anything you think that may be relevant, for example: loose teeth, smoking history, amount of alcohol consumption, etc.
- Any current medications
- Indigestion or stomach acid reflux
These factors are important for your anaesthetist to plan your anaesthetic
What is day surgery?
- Day surgery refers to the practice of admitting a person to hospital, performing an operation and discharging home on the same day
- If you are scheduled for day surgery, please ensure that there is someone who will take you home and stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours
What sort of anaesthetic might I have?
- General Anaesthetic
- This is a state of deep and controlled sleep brought on by special medication given by an anaesthetist
- Your anaesthetist will monitor your condition closely for the duration of the operation
- Local Anaesthetic
- This is only suitable for minor operations
- A local anaesthetic drug is injected around the site of operation
- This numbs the area and allows the operation to proceed
- Local anaesthetics are also used in some operations that require a general anaesthetic to help reduce the amount of pain felt after an operation
Is there anything special I need to do before the operation?
- If you have completed a patient health questionnaire that indicates any significant health problem, you may be sent for an appointment at the pre-anaesthetic clinic before your operation
- Your surgeon will inform you if it is necessary for you to attend the preadmission clinic
- You must follow any special instructions given – fasting times are very important
- You may continue your usual medications unless your surgeon or anaesthetist gives you instructions to the contrary
- It is advisable to have a moderated amount of exercise for a few weeks prior to your surgery unless your doctor has advised against exercise
- If you develop a cold or any other infection in the week before your operation, please visit your local doctor who will arrange to contact your surgeon
- Stop smoking at least 6 weeks before your operation
What are the risks?
- There is a risk involved with all anaesthetics and surgery
- Australia is one of the safest countries in the world for anaesthesia and major complications are rare
- If you have concerns or questions regarding your anaesthetic, your anaesthetists will gladly address them prior to surgery
What do I do about eating and drinking before my operation?
- Please follow the instructions given to you by the staff of the hospital
- Fasting information is generally given to you by phone the day before your operation
- For most operations you should not eat or drink for 6 hours before the operation commences