Frequently Asked Questions

The information provided here is to help you understand what is involved in Anaesthesia. It is not intended to be a substitute for an informed discussion with the Anaesthetist prior to your operation.

Patient Care Frankston Anaesthetic Services
What Should I Tell the Anaesthetist?

Before your procedure, the anaesthetist will talk with you and examine you. He or she will want to know:

  • Your general state of health, and any previous illnesses or operations.
  • Any medications or non-prescription drugs you are taking, including cigarettes, alcohol and any herbal or naturopathic substances.
  • Any abnormal reactions to medicines or allergies you have had.
  • If you have any dental caps/crowns, dentures or loose teeth.
  • Any family history of abnormal reactions to anaesthetics

Be honest with the anaesthetist – we must have the best possible picture of you and your present conditions so that the most suitable anaesthetic can be planned.

Why Do I Have to Fast Before Surgery?

In an anaesthetised or sedated state, it is possible for stomach contents to be regurgitated and cause major breathing complications.

Fasting greatly reduces the likelihood of this occurring. It is therefore advised to follow all fasting instructions given by the hospital, including for young children, and avoidance of chewing gum. Failure to adhere to fasting advice may lead to delay or even cancellation of your procedure.

If you have had any stomach surgery such as Lap-Band, Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass, please contact our staff for specific fasting instructions.

What Type of Anaesthetic Will I Have?

The anaesthetist will discuss the relevant options with you.

The common approaches and combinations include:

General Anaesthesia – The commonest approach for many surgeries; a state of medication-induced sleep and pain relief, reversible after your surgery ends.

Sedation – This can range from light to deep sedation, with minimal to no recall of events after the procedure. Commonly used in conjunction with local anaesthesia for small procedures in plastic or ophthalmic surgery, or for minor endoscopy, urology or vascular procedures.

Regional Anaesthesia – This may involve a spinal or epidural anaesthetic, to fully anaesthetise the lower body in conjunction with sedation or general anaesthesia. It may alternatively involve anaesthetising a specific limb with local anaesthetic.

Do I Continue My Normal Medications?

Surgeons’ and proceduralists’ rooms, as well as the admitting hospitals, will generally provide complete instructions on this.

Pay particular attention to instructions on blood-thinning medications:

  • Aspirin and Asasantin
  • Warfarin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Apixaban (Eliquis)
  • Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
  • Ticagrelor (Brilinta)
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • Prasugrel (Effient)

And diabetic medications

  • Semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovy)
  • Dulaglutide (Trulicity)
  • Dapaglifozin (Forxiga, Xigduo)
  • Empagliflozin (Jardiance, Jardiamet, Glyxambi)

I Have Diabetes. Are There Specific Instructions for Me?

Fasting instructions are still imperative, but there will likely be changes to instructions for diabetic tablet, injection and/or insulin medications. Please contact the hospital for instructions on these, as some medications require withholding for a significant period of time.
Injections such as Ozempic or similar drugs require a specifically long time to withhold.

What Happens During My Anaesthetic?

Before the Surgery: The anaesthetist will insert an intravenous needle (I.V.) to administer certain required fluids and medications. Various monitoring devices will be attached to you to monitor your vital signs and your body’s reaction to anaesthesia and surgery.

During Surgery: While you are anaesthetised, you will receive drugs to maintain bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing. You will be observed at all times, and should a complication occur, the anaesthetist is prepared and trained to respond quickly – The anaesthetist takes care of you during the procedure.

After Surgery: When surgery is complete, the anaesthetist will reverse the anaesthesia, allowing you to become conscious again. Your condition will be carefully monitored to ensure your recovery is as smooth and pain-free as possible.

Should you have any pain, you will receive medication to control it – The anaesthetist is a specialist in the control of post-operative pain, and your surgeon may ask him or her to look after your pain.

Some temporary effects you may encounter include dizziness, drowsiness, dry or sore throat, sore muscles and nausea or vomiting. These will soon pass, but it is important that you do not drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours.

Are There Fees Associated With My Anaesthetic?

There is a fee for the specialist anaesthetic service provided to you, which is separate from any other fee you may incur for any surgery or procedure you have eg. hospital, surgical, pathology, radiology. The complexity and duration of the anaesthetic and/or procedure, as well as other modifying factors, may affect this fee.

Medicare and health insurance funds provide a rebate for part of this fee. You are unable to claim for any out-of-pocket component, which may vary, depending on the operation, its circumstances and your insurance fund.

To commence the quoting process for your anaesthetic fee, click the ‘Register’ button, or call our staff on 9770 1388.

How Do I Pay My Account?

This will be explained to you by our staff. To discuss any out-of-pocket costs, click the ‘Register’ button or phone our staff on 9770 1388.

What Are the Risks?

Adverse effects and serious complications are rare. However, problems do sometimes occur and anaesthetists are specially trained to deal with these.

As with all medical and surgical procedures, Anaesthesia is not without risk. Some patients wish to know exactly what the potential problems are. Due to the nature of illness and the human body, it is rarely possible to explain every conceivable risk – However – if you have specific concerns or questions it is vital that you raise these with the anaesthetist prior to your procedure. Some of the more common problems include dental injury, nerve injury and unusual reactions to medications.

Frankston Anaesthetic Services has for many years conducted a process of regular quality assurance and risk management. This ensures that the anaesthetist is up to date with the latest developments and advances in the specialty of Anaesthesia to deal with these.

The anaesthetist’s task is to make your visit to theatre as safe and comfortable as possible.

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetistsand Australian Society of Anaesthetists
Also have detailed information for patients.