What You Need to Know Before Undergoing Surgery with IV Sedation
When you’re scheduling a procedure at Dr. Krakora’s office, you might get overwhelmed by the long list of “dos and don’ts” we give you in preparation for IV sedation. You can’t eat, drink, or smoke for designated times before your surgery, and you can’t even wear jewelry or nail polish on the day of the procedure. But it’s not because we’re mean—it’s because we have to make sure that the anesthesia works properly and that you stay safe. Watch this video to see our patient guidelines for intravenous anesthesia sedation, and then read below to learn why each rule exists.
What is IV Anesthesia Sedation?
IV anesthesia sedation is a mixture of medications administered to you via an Intravenous (IV) bag. Though you won’t fully fall asleep during a procedure with IV anesthesia sedation, you will enter a sort of twilight sleep state, and will likely “wake up” when it’s over with little or no memory of the surgery. IV anesthesia sedation makes you drowsy, slows your breathing and your reflexes, and may cause your blood pressure to drop. Our attentive team will ensure that you are perfectly safe and comfortable during your sedation experience, but to help us out we ask that you follow these guidelines.
The Seven Commandments of IV Anesthesia Sedation
1. You can’t eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your surgery.
We usually say that you cannot eat or drink anything from midnight the night before your procedure. This is because the sedation, by design, will stop your body’s reflexes. If you become nauseous during the procedure and your stomach is not empty, this may cause you to vomit or regurgitate without the ability to cough it all the way up. The contents of your stomach could then leak into your lungs, potentially causing problems with your breathing. The only exception is if we asked you to take a specific medication before your surgery—then we will allow you to drink a small amount of water, but only enough to get the pill down.
2. You can’t smoke for 12 hours before your surgery.
We ask that you don’t smoke for the 12 hours preceding your surgery with IV sedation. In fact, the sooner you can cut down on smoking before your procedure, the better. If you smoke before your surgery—and if you have a smoking habit in general—it becomes more difficult to keep you breathing properly while you are under sedation. Smoking also increases your risk of heart problems during and after your surgery, and it makes your healing process take far longer than it would for a nonsmoker, which is why we also ask that you continue to abstain from smoking after your procedure while you are healing.
3. A responsible adult must accompany you to your appointment and stay for the duration of your procedure.
You will not quite be yourself when your surgery is finished. Because of the anesthesia, your judgement will be impaired. Your reflexes and your thoughts will be slower. All in all, you won’t be fit to drive. We ask that you bring a responsible adult with you on the day of the procedure to drive you home, and we ask that your driver stay in our office from the time you check in until the time your procedure is finished.
4. You can’t drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after being under anesthesia.
For reasons established above, you should not drive or operate machinery for a day or two after your surgery. To be safe, you should also try not to cook anything, chop vegetables, or engage in any activities with opportunity to sustain an injury. Remember that if you are taking prescription pain medication you cannot drive or operate machinery until you are no longer taking the pain medication.
5. You should wear loose fitting clothing, a shirt that exposes your arm up to the elbows, and low-heeled shoes.
On the day of your procedure you should wear loose, comfortable clothing that provides us access to your lower arms up to your elbows. This is so that we can monitor your blood pressure before and during your procedure and so that you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. And you should also wear shoes with low heels (or preferably no heels) to prevent tripping and after your surgery.
6. You should not wear contact lenses, jewelry, dentures, lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish.
You should not wear excessive makeup. Since your reflexes are dulled by the anesthesia, you will not be able to blink if any particles of mascara or other makeup get into your eye. This is also why you should not wear contact lenses. Since we will need access to your mouth, you should not wear lipstick or dentures either. Remove all jewelry so that you will not have any opportunity to lose it. And you cannot wear nail polish because we need to see the color of your natural finger nails in order to check your circulation.
7. You should let us know before your procedure if you are developing an illness.
If you are developing any illness, even a cold, sore throat, or upset stomach or bowels, let us know about your developing symptoms two days before your procedure. Depending on your illness, we may need to postpone or reschedule your procedure. We will not need to postpone your procedure in every case, but it is important that we are aware of and can plan for your illness.Give our office a call at 724-223-0579 if you have any remaining questions about your upcoming surgery with IV anesthesia sedation.