It is very normal to worry when you are scheduled for surgery, even when it is elective. In fact it is the norm for a large percentage of patients to tell me that they feel anxious and worried about waking up from the anesthesia. It would be misleading to deny there are risks associated with anesthesia; however, there are too many variables to go into in this venue that can influence the risks associated with anesthesia. It is important to take the time to ask questions of your anesthesiologist and if you do not feel comfortable with your anesthesiologist’s responses, you always have the option to ask for another anesthesiologist.
A loss of control is another worry for many patients. In fact on quite a few occasions I have had patients refusing sedation because they wanted to be able to ask questions during their procedure or watch the monitors. While some procedures can be done quite comfortably without sedation and just local, the whole surgical experience is better using a combination of sedation and local (in those instances where general anesthesia is not indicated or required).
Next on the list is the pathology report. Many patients worry more about the pathology report than the actual surgery. Foremost on their minds is whether this is cancerous or benign. The stress created by this particular worry is often enough to create abnormally elevated blood pressure in some patients, which can complicate the issue. Most patients in this situation respond to a sedative, which calms their fear and lowers their blood pressure; however, some patients need more than just a sedative to treat their elevated blood pressure.
The last worry, which can cause a delay, is whether or not the procedure is covered by their insurance. While one would think that every patient contacted their insurance company well in advance of their day of surgery, many patients do not. The anesthesiologist is often put in a difficult position because billing and insurance matters are handled exclusively by the billing department. Thus, if you are scheduled for an elective procedure, give your insurance carrier a call and find out beforehand what is covered.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: serveandrally original