Before Your Anaesthetic

There are a few things you can do to help your recovery from your anaesthetic.

  • Stop smoking. Ideally you should stop smoking 6 weeks prior to your surgery. This will reduce the risk of breathing problems during and after your surgery. However, even if you stop smoking for 24 hours prior to your anaesthetic you will be able to significantly increase the amount of oxygen your body has in the blood stream.
  • Get some exercise. Regular walking will improve your general health.
  • Lose some weight. If you are overweight, weight loss prior to your surgery will significantly reduce your risk of complications from both your anaesthetic and your surgery.
  • Most Medications should be continued right up to the time of your operation. Often your surgeon will want you to stop taking 'blood thinning' drugs (aspirin, arthritis tablets and those given for some heart problems eg warfarin, plavix). If you have not been told by your surgeon to stop these drugs you should check with either your surgeon or your anaesthetist. Some other medications may need to be adjusted prior to your surgery eg diabetes medications. If you have not been given specific advice about your medications check with your anaesthetist. Bring all your usual medications in their original packaging with you to hospital.
  • Talk to your anaesthetist. If you have any health problems or have had any problems with previous anaesthetics or any concerns about your upcoming anaesthetic, call your anaesthetist. This would include any concerns you may have with having a blood transfusion.
  • Follow fasting instructions. These will be given to you by the surgeon or by the hospital. You should follow them carefully regardless of the type of anaesthetic you anticipate having. If you are in any doubt about your instructions, contact your anaesthetist.