Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS ANAESTHESIA?

WHO ARE ANAESTHETISTS?

WHAT TRAINING DO ANAESTHETISTS UNDERGO? 

WILL I SEE MY ANAESTHETIST?

DOES THE ANAESTHETIST STAY WITH ME ALL THE TIME?

WHY CAN’T I EAT AND DRINK BEFORE MY SURGERY?

In a normal state, your body has defences to prevent stomach content from coming up. Unfortunately when you are unconscious this mechanism does not work, so it's best that your stomach is empty when you have a general anaesthetic. In emergency surgery when you may have eaten recently, your anaesthetic will take special precautions to reduce the risk of aspiration. If your period of fasting is inadequate your operation may be postponed.

You should therefore have no food (including lollies and chewing gum) or drink for up to six hours before your operation.

Also, some patients need medication preoperatively and this can be taken with a sip of water under the direction of your anaesthetist.

Even if you are booked to have a regional anaesthetic, it is important to follow the instructions about not eating and drinking, just in case it becomes necessary for you to have a general anaesthetic.

DO I TAKE MY NORMAL MEDICATIONS?

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ANAESTHESIA?