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Information for patients

You have been admitted to the Charité Medical Center for diagnosis and treatment. As you will require anesthesia, we would like to provide you with some information on how this will be performed and what is going to happen to you. The aim of this information sheet is to help to help to reduce the natural fear of undergoing surgery and anesthesia. All types of medical procedures carries a certain risk, but this risk is minimised if you have a good understanding of what will happen to you. This information booklet is in no way intended to be a substitute for an informative discussion between you and your doctor. It should help you to ask the anesthesiologist the questions which will be most important to you personally. You will still have the opportunity, to ask questions and address any fears or concerns that you might have before the anesthetic.

PREOPERATIVE EVALUATION

You should inform the anesthesiologist, who is going to visit you the afternoon or evening before the day you undergo surgery, of any previous diseases. It is especially important that we know of any previous illnesses of the heart, arteries, lungs, liver, kidneys, hormones, bleeding, , epilepsy, muscles or nerves. We will also ask you about any allergies or intolerances. We would be very thankful if you could fill out the yellow anesthesia information leaflet you will be provided with. Most of the questions require simple yes or no answers. Please let us know if you have ever had an anesthetic before. It is also important for us to know what type of anesthetic it was. Was it a “general anesthetic” or a “local anesthetic”? In “local anesthesia” the area of the operation is made numb by an injection. It is also important for us to know if there were any problems with the anesthetic. It is also important for us to know if any of your family have had problems with anesthetics.

BEFORE SURGERY

The night before surgery, you may be given a sleeping tablet to ensure a good night sleep. You should not eat for at least 6 hours before the operation. You may drink clear fluids up to 2 hours before the operation and you not smoke during the last 12 hours before the operation. Alcoholic and drugs should be avoided for 12 hours before and 24 hours after the operation. Take care to remove all jewellery, contact lenses and dentures. Nail varnish and make-up should also be removed before surgery. Your anesthesiologist and the nursing staff will let you know which of your medications you should take may be take on the morning of surgery. You may be given a sedative tablet or syrup 30 to 60 minutes before surgery to help you to relax and to improve the quality of your anesthetic. The nurses will take you to the operating room. In the anesthetic room, a needle (cannula) will be placed into one of the veins of your arms. It will be used to inject the anesthetic and to give you fluids. Before the anesthetic starts,we will plave a cuff on your arm for measuring your blood pressure, stickers on your chest for an ECG and a clip on one of your fingers for measuring oxygen levels. Then you will given oxygen to breath through a plastic mask. After a couple of minutes an anesthetic drug will be injected into your vein and you will fall asleep.

AFTER THE OPERATION

After surgery you will be brought to the recovery room. You will stay there until you are fully awake, stable and pain free . We will also be involved in your care after the operation. We will provide your ward with a plan for how your pain should be treated and our pain management team is available around the clock to help. It may be necessary for you to spend some time on one of our intensive care unit after the operation. This is often necessary after very big operations or in patients who have a lot of other medical problems.

There are some exercises you can do to help speed up your recovery. It is important that you breath normally so that the lungs continue to open fully after the operation. It helps if you regularly take deep breath in after the operation. Coughing is also very important for the lungs after an operation. You should also regularly gently move your arms and legs in order to improve the circulation and prevent clots forming.