Preparing for Anaesthesia

Mr and Mrs Gas Home


For patients with chronic medical conditions preparation for your anaesthetic and operation is essential. If you have any of the following conditions it is advisable to make contact with your anaesthetist as early as possible before your operation.

  1. Heart disease.
  2. Diabetes requiring insulin or tablets
  3. Lung disease such as severe asthma or emphysema.
  4. Kidney disease.
  5. Severe arthritis.
  6. Any other conditions that you see a specialist for.


It is important to have the details of any specialist such as your cardiologist available when you contact your anaesthetist so that they can chase any reports or investigations you have had. We may even ask you to make an appointment to see them for a tune up before your operation.

If your medical conditions are significant and complex we may organise a consultation with you prior to your operation so that we can better assess your needs and better plan for your anaesthetic. This can generally be done at the hospital you will be going to or the surgeon’s rooms.


In general you should continue all of your usual medications your GP has prescribed for you. Some exceptions to this are anti inflammatory agents, aspirin or blood thinners such as warfarin or Plavix. If you take any of these medications please discuss this with your surgeon as they will decide whether or not you should stop these medications.

If you are taking any herbal preparations, supplements or Chinese medicine  stop these 10 days prior to surgery. This is because some herbal preparations can cause significant bleeding during surgery or interact with anaesthetic drugs.

If you take medications for diabetes please contact us at least 5 days before the surgery for instructions.  

If you have any concerns about any of your medications please make contact with your anaesthetist.


If you have had a previous anaesthetic and had any problems with it, please contact your anaesthetist as in many cases any concerns can be sorted out with a simple email or phone call. Anaesthetics are tailored to an individual and just because you had problems with one previously does not necessarily mean that we can’t alter you next anaesthetic to make it a better experience. Part of your anaesthetic consultation is to discuss this, as every anaesthetic is a prescription of specific medications that your anaesthetist selects as the safest for you.


Smoking and vaping causes many deleterious effects to your general health. It has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, chronic lung disease, vascular disease, many forms of cancer, early aging and death. Smoking adversely affects your operation and anaesthetic in the following ways

  1. Carbon monoxide from your cigarettes decreases the ability of your blood to carry oxygen during your operation.
  2. Smoking increases your chances of having acute complications such as wheezing, coughing and respiratory distress.
  3. Smoking also places you at greater risk of developing post operative lung infections and pneumonia.
  4. You will commonly have a productive cough for several days after your operation.
  5. Smoking decreases your body’s wound healing ability, for some forms of surgery such as breast reconstructive surgery smoking greatly increases the risk of having an unsuccessful reconstruction. This can be so significant that some surgeons may choose not to perform some sorts of reconstructions in patients who are currently smoking.
  6. Smoking increases the chance of post operative cardiovascular complications such as stroke and heart attack

Whilst ideally you should stop smoking 6 weeks prior to your operation, stopping at any time prior will be beneficial for your overall health and well being.

For more information about the College of Anaesthetists smoking guidelines please click on the following link:

For more information about quitting smoking please follow the following link: