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Pain Management Health Center

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Anesthesia: Health Risks - Topic Overview

As part of preparing for a medical procedure requiring anesthesia, you will have an exam to check on your health and to identify any health risks that may affect your anesthesia care. Tell your anesthesia specialist about your health history, including any other surgeries you have had and any health problems.

Be sure to tell the specialist if you are pregnant, if you smoke, or if you have alcohol or drug problems. Also let him or her know if you or a family member have had past problems with anesthesia.

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As with other subjective experiences, such as love, fear, or anger, there's no way to objectively measure pain. We asked Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Pain Management Division and associate professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine, to explain the unpleasant sensation we all feel in different ways.

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Prepare a list of all medicines that you take on a regular basis or have taken recently, including the dose. Be sure to include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and/or herbal products.

Your anesthesia specialist will identify conditions you have that could affect your anesthesia care. He or she will closely watch your vital body functions to reduce potential complications.

Some medical problems may increase your risk of complications when you are receiving anesthesia. These include:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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