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Preparing for Anesthesia

Guidelines regarding surgery vary, but here are a few things you might expect. Read more about what to know before anesthesia.

What should you not do before anesthesia?

Guidelines regarding pre-surgical requirements vary depending on your institutional policy, type of surgery, and patient risk factors. You should be provided guidance on this type of information prior to surgery. A few examples of things you may be asked to refrain from prior to surgery include:1,2

  • Eating food or drinking fluids after a certain time given to you by your doctor
  • Taking certain medications and/or herbal supplements
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco

If you’re unclear, don’t hesitate to ask questions and talk to your doctor. You may also want to your doctor about the type of anesthesia will be given to you, the risks associated with anesthesia, and your previous experiences with anesthesia.

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  1. Practice Guidelines for Preoperative Fasting and the Use of Pharmacologic Agents to Reduce the Risk of Pulmonary Aspiration: Application to Healthy Patients Undergoing Elective Procedures: An Updated Report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Preoperative Fasting and the Use of Pharmacologic Agents to Reduce the Risk of Pulmonary Aspiration*. Anesthesiology 2017;126(3):376-393. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000001452.
  2. How to Prepare for Anesthesia (2020). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/anesthesia-prep#1

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