Frequently Asked Questions
Does anesthesia have side effects?
When should I stop eating and drinking before surgery?
Side effects of anesthesia can occur during and after the procedure. Most are minor, temporary, and result from general anesthesia. These can include nausea and vomiting, sore throat, postoperative delirium (confusion after regaining consciousness), muscle aches, itching, chills and shivering
What medications can I take before surgery?
To keep you safe, there are special rules about when to stop eating and drinking. Your care team will advise you on when to stop eating or drinking before a procedure to ensure a safe procedure and prevent nausea.
The following are general guidelines for adults over the age of 19:
Solid foods – You may eat solid foods up to eight hours before your scheduled arrival time for your procedure. Once you are eight hours away from your arrival time, please refrain from eating food or consuming alcoholic beverages, milk, or dairy products.
Non-Clear Liquids – You may drink non-clear liquids up to six hours before your scheduled arrival time. Non-clear liquids include:
• Non-human milk
• Orange juice
• Apple cider
Clear Liquids – Staying hydrated is important, so you can—and should—drink clear liquids up to two hours before your scheduled arrival time. Clear, “see-through” liquids include:
• Clear fruit juice such as apple juice
• Plain tea or black coffee (without milk or creamer)
• Electrolyte-replenishing drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade
DO NOT drink milk, alcohol, or dairy products
Will I wake up during my procedure?
Typically, your provider will advise you to continue taking your regular medications. However, you may be instructed to change your medication schedule or STOP taking certain medications, depending on your procedure and medical history.
Talk to your anesthesia provider about the following medications:
Blood Pressure Medications
Blood Thinning Medications (Anticoagulants, Aspirin)
What if I have pain after surgery?
If you are receiving general anesthesia, you are most likely going to be unconscious for your entire procedure. You will be unaware of what’s happening, and you won’t remember anything afterward.
Waking up during surgery is highly unlikely, occurring in only one of every 1,000 medical procedures involving general anesthesia
Prior to your surgery, your care team will talk with you about a postoperative plan to manage your pain. While you will have discomfort following your procedure, our anesthesia providers are experts in helping patients recover quickly and safely with minimal pain.
Your anesthesia team will use a variety of techniques before surgery to proactively minimize your pain before your procedure. Following your surgery, you can expect the same care and attention to relieving your pain as your anesthesia team works to minimize opioid use when possible.
Your anesthesiologist may use one or more of the following pain management techniques after surgery:
• Epidural Anesthesia – Your anesthesia provider will place a thin tube, called a catheter, in your back. The tube remains there throughout the procedure so your care team can deliver medicine through the catheter as you need it. Following surgery, you will continue to receive pain relief medication through the catheter.
• Nerve blocks – Medication is injected around large nerve groups to reduce pain in a specific area of the body
• Opioid medications – Pills taken orally to manage pain