Patient Information

 
Medication
What medications can I take before my surgery? 
Most regular medication should be taken right up until your surgery. It is okay to have your morning medication on the day of surgery with a sip of water.

Exception includes:

Warfarin, Pradaxa, Iscover (clopidogrel), Insulin

If you take any of these you must notify my office immediately contact us

Oral diabetic medication (Metformin, Diabex, Glibenclamide)

Please do not take these on the morning of surgery.

Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medication

Your surgeon will advise whether to stop this.

 
Wine and Apple
When can I eat and drink before surgery? 
 

Fasting before surgery is important to minimise the chance of acidic fluid from your stomach going into your lungs, which can then develop into life threatening pneumonia.

 

For morning surgery, please do not eat anything from midnight the night before, but you may drink water, or clear fluid such as Dex* throughout the night up until 6:00am.

 

For afternoon surgery, finish breakfast by 7:00am then you may drink water, or clear fluid such as Dex* until 10:00am.

 

It is important to adhere to the above guidelines. If you have not done so please notify your anaesthetist on the day of your surgery.

 
Anaesthesia
What is Anaesthesia?
 
Anaesthesia is derived from the Greek meaning “without sensation”. It results in the absence of pain to all or part of your body. 
 
General anaesthesia
You are put into a state of controlled unconsciousness for the duration of the operation. While you remain unaware of what is happening around you the anaesthetist monitors your condition closely and constantly adjusts the level of anaesthesia to ensure it is a reversible state of unconsciousness.
 
Sedation
Drugs are administered to make you feel relaxed and drowsy. You may be aware of your surroundings.
 
Regional anaesthesia
Local anaesthesia is used to block nerves that supply the part of the body where the surgeon will operate – this part of the body is numb. An example is an “eye block” for cataract surgery or an epidural for labour pain.
Local anaesthesia
Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin at the site of surgery to cause numbness in a small area.
 
Question Mark
What are the risks of anaesthesia?
 
Australia is the safest place in the world to have an anaesthetic.

However complications still occur and you should ask your anaesthetist on the day of surgery if you have specific concerns.

None of the drugs we administer to the body are perfect and all have side effects.

 
The following may occur
  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Blurred vision

  • A black or red eye if you are having an eye block

  • Swelling of the face and eyelids if you are face down

  • Hallucinations

  • Sore throat

  • Pain on injection when going to sleep

  • Infection or injury at the site of injection

  • Temporary nerve damage – numbness, pain or loss of movement in a limb

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Damage to teeth, lips or tongue, skin or eyes

  • Breathing difficulty

 
Rare but very serious reactions include:
  • Awareness during surgery

  • Heart attack, blindness, stroke or brain damage

  • Allergic reaction to one of the drugs

  • Kidney or liver failure

  • Permanent nerve damage or paralysis

  • Damage to voice box that may result in permanent voice changes

  • Infection from a blood transfusion​

Anaesthesia may affect your judgement for 24 hours so do not drive or sign any legal documents during this time.

 
Useful Links
Useful Links
 
To understand more about anaesthesia and the personal experience of various patients go to:
www.allaboutanaesthesia.com.au

Other sites with useful information include:
 
Australian Society of Anaesthetists 
www.asa.org.au
 
Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
www.anzaca.edu.au
 
 
 
*Dr Reiner declares conflict of interest: he has an interest in the company Dex.