General Anaesthetic

Some surgery requires specific preparation. We’ll give you written instructions about anything you need to know before surgery. Your nurse will explain and carry out any special preparation required prior to your surgery. If you have any questions or concerns, you can discuss them with your registered nurse. These are some basic pre-surgery requirements:

  • Generally you will not be allowed food or drink for at least 6 hours prior to surgery.
  • Do not take any prescribed or over the counter (OTC) medication (including natural remedies) without advising Dr West beforehand.  Some natural remedies, such as arnica, ginseng, garlic and medications such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs can increase bleeding significantly.
  • Before surgery your anaesthetist will consult with you to discuss the anaesthetic procedure and get your written consent for anaesthesia.
  • Because you must not drive a car following surgery on the day of having a general anaesthetic, if you’re having day surgery, you’ll have to arrange for someone to drive you home and be at home with you for several hours post-surgery.

Your medical history

Before surgery we will record your symptoms, previous treatment (if any), medical and dental history and social and lifestyle factors. We need to know your complete medical and dental history to help plan the best possible treatment. Provide a list of all the medicines you are taking now or have been taking recently. This includes aspirin, cough medicines, hormone replacement medicines and the contraceptive pill. Let us know if you have ever had an allergy or bad reaction to antibiotics, any medicine or general anaesthetic. Also tell us if you bleed heavily when you are injured or have surgery, or if you have any blood disorders, such as haemophilia. Since surgery is not usually done during pregnancy, let us know if you are, could be, or plan to be pregnant.

Be realistic

When you make the decision to have surgery, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that the surgery will always be successful or that the surgery bears no risk. The operation and its outcome may not meet your expectations. We encourage you to discuss fully with your surgeon the treatment to be completed and the likely outcome you expect. If you have any questions or concerns, we’re here to help.