Here are some ways you can reduce your risk:
Eating and Drinking Before Anesthesia
As a general rule, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight before surgery. Discuss this subject with your anesthesiologist because you may be allowed to consume clear liquids on a more liberal time schedule.
Medications (Prescription & Over the Counter)
It is important to tell your anesthesiologist about all prescription and over-the-counter medications that you are taking. Some medications should be taken and others should not.
Anesthesiologists are finding that certain herbal medications may prolong the effects of anesthesia. Others medications increase the risk of bleeding or raise blood pressure. That is why you should discuss medications with your anesthesiologist.
Anti-Coagulants or Blood Thinners
Before your procedure, it is also vital to mention any blood thinners you are taking with your surgeon and anesthesiologist. These trained physicians will decide whether you should continue taking blood thinners or stop using them based on the risk/benefit.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the condition where a person stops breathing during sleep because their airways become obstructed. The usual cause is soft tissue in the back of the throat that blocks the breathing passage.
The condition affects 18 million Americans and is most common in overweight males over age 40. However, it can affect anyone in any age group.
You May Have Sleep Apnea If:
You are frequently tired by waking in the morning and throughout the day You have been told that you snore or stop breathing during sleep You have been told that you make snorting noise during sleep You wake frequently during the night If you feel that you may have sleep apnea, talk to your primary care physician. Sleep apnea can be treated in a variety of ways. If left untreated, it can cause high blood pressure, cardiac disease, thinking problems and even sudden death.
It is recommended that you stop smoking before surgery and for at least one week after surgery.
Smokers have an increased risk of complications during and after surgery, including delayed wound healing and pneumonia. In addition, smokers are at an increased risk for cardiac complications. By stopping before surgery, you can decrease those risks. It is especially important not to smoke on the day of surgery.
There are benefits to using your surgical procedure as the starting point to quit smoking. There is evidence that smokers who quit before surgery experience fewer symptoms of nicotine withdraw and are more likely to be successful in their attempt to stop completely.