Anesthesia: Health Risks

Overview

Before anesthesia, you will have an exam to check on your health and to find any health risks that may affect your anesthesia care.

Tell your anesthesia specialist about your health history. This includes any other surgeries you've had and any health problems. If you have sleep apnea, be sure to let the specialist know.

Tell the specialist if you are pregnant or if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. Also tell them if you or a family member has had past problems with anesthesia.

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

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

  • Cardiology problems, such as heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.
  • Neurological problems such as a stroke or seizures.
  • Lung problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
  • Airway abnormalities.
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Neuromuscular disease, such as muscular dystrophy.
  • Liver disease.

Credits

Current as of: February 16, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology