Drs: Dos & Don’ts Before Anesthesia + Why You Can’t Eat Or Drink

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The Drs TV: Dos & Don’ts Before Surgery

Dr. Travis Stork explained that for those that have never gone under anesthesia before, it can be a very frightening ordeal. He wanted to share some dos and don’ts for before you undergo anesthesia.

Dr. Stork said going under is safe, as long as you take a few simple measures before hand. The job is an anesthesiologist is to make sure you get through the surgery, before during and after without any problems at all. Dr. Natalie Strand is an anesthesiologist and pain management expert and she joined The Doctors to explain what she does and to shares tips for making sure it all goes smoothly.

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Drs: Dos & Don'ts Before Anesthesia + Why You Can't Eat Or Drink

The Doctors explained what you should avoid before undergoing anesthesia and why. (Pablo Hidalgo – Fotos593 / Shutterstock.com)

Her first tip was “food and water.” She said that most people are told they can’t eat or drink for eight hours before getting a general anesthetic. She said when they put you to sleep, they put your whole body to sleep, so you lose a lot of your natural reflexes, so the anesthesiologist has to take over a lot of those reflexes for you. If you have food or water in your stomach, it can come back up, possibly blocking your airways, making it impossible to oxygenate you. They prefer an empty stomach.

The Doctors: What To Avoid Before Anesthesia

Dr. Strand then shared that you should avoid using dark nail polish or makeup before undergoing anesthesia. She said they need to be able to monitor you appropriately and make sure everything is fine. The dark nail polish actually impairs the ability to read your oxygen levels.

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So why can’t you wear mascara? Dr. Strand said they want to keep your eyes moist and protected, because you lose your ability to blink during general anesthesia. They tape your eyes shut and if you wear mascara or fake eyelashes, you risk getting flakes into your eye that can scratch your cornea.

Third, Dr. Strand shared that you shouldn’t take any anti-anxiety medicine before a surgery. She said they need you to be clear-minded in order to get proper medical information, and then said you will get the best anti-anxiety medicine out there through your IV before the surgery anyway. She said they’ll make sure you feel good anyway. Dr. Drew Ordon said to be sure to talk to your doctor before surgery about your routine medications to see if you’re able to take those before surgery.

Dr. Stork made a point to say that with necessary precautions, anesthesia is exceedingly safe and in the right hands, it will go well.

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