021 683 9244 [email protected]

Get to know the Doctors of Cape Anaesthetics

Patient Information

YOUR ANAESTHETIST:

  • is a specialist anaesthesiologist
  • assesses your health, performs any relevant investigations, discusses risks and benefits of different anaesthetics, and then assists you in choosing a suitable anaesthetic plan for your surgery
  • cares for you during and immediately after surgery
  • prescribes pain medication for after your surgery in the ward and for you to take home


YOUR ANAESTHETIC ACCOUNT:

  • will be charged at a rate calculated per unit time spent in theatre and not at a fixed rate, unless special arrangement has been made prior to surgery
  • may not be fully covered by your medical aid or specific medical aid plan, resulting in your being responsible for a portion of the account
  • is tariff-specific to the individual anaesthetist who will be caring for you
  • should you require a rough estimate of the cost per hour, or have queries pertaining to your account, please contact Cape Anaesthetics Inc. offices (021 683 9247)
  • credit and debit card facilities are available on request but no cheques are accepted


TYPES OF ANAESTHETIC:

1. Local Anaesthetic:

  • local anaesthetic medication is injected into/around the site of surgery to numb/anaesthetise
  • It may be accompanied by sedation for the duration of the surgery

2. Regional Anaesthetic Injection:

  • an entire area of the body/limb is numbed/Anaesthetised for surgery
  • safe and correct placement of injection may entail usage of ultrasound or nerve stimulator

3. Spinal/Epidural Anaesthetic:

  • Local anaesthetic injection is placed into the epidural space or into the subdural space to numb either below the waist or the upper torso
  • Epidurals may result in a tiny catheter or tube being left in the back in order to continue anaesthetising the surgical area for a longer post operative period

4. Sedation:

  • medication is given into bloodstream via drip in arm or orally as a tablet
  • this relaxes you and alleviates anxiety and often reduces pain
  • you are awake but not fully aware in conscious sedation but much sleepier in deep sedation
  • the depth of sedation is determined by what is required for comfort during surgery
  • you are able to communicate if needed, but are not anxious or uncomfortable
  • depth can be increased or decreased to keep you comfortable for surgery

5. General Anaesthetic:

  • medication is given via a drip into bloodstream or gases that are inhaled into lungs to keep you fully asleep
  • a breathing tube or mask is used to protect your airway and assist your breathing whilst asleep
  • you are completely unaware and pain-free during surgery
  • may result in slightly longer time in recovery ward before discharge home

IMPORTANT POINTS:

1. You must not eat for 6 hours before surgery

2. If you are pregnant/breastfeeding please inform your anaesthetist

3. If your baby/infant is coming for surgery, starvation guidelines for bottle/breast feeding vary so please consult your anaesthetist beforehand

4. If you are ill before your elective surgery please inform your surgeon/contact us before hospital admission as the surgery may need to be postponed

5. You may drink water, clear apple juice or weak black tea for up to 2 hours before surgery

6. Tell anaesthetist and surgeon specifically if you use any of the following:

  • blood thinners – for example: Asprin, Ecotrin, Persantin, Warfarin, Plavix, Clexane, Xarelto, Traumeel/Arnica
  • herbal, homeopathic, traditional or alternative medicines or therapies (ideally these should be stopped 2 weeks before surgery)
  • recreational drugs of any sort cigarettes, pipe tobacco, snuff or chewing tobacco
  • alcohol

7. By law, no patient is permitted to drive themselves home after a day case procedure, even if they have only received sedation, so please arrange transport at discharge

8. Complete your medical history on anaesthetic consent form in full and bring it to hospital

9. Bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking with you to hospital

10. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us

Complications during anaesthesia

The following list covers some of the complications that may occur under anaesthesia or after an operation.

Common Complication Rare Complication Very Rare Complication Brain Damage or Death
(1 to 10% of cases) Minimal treatment usually (Less than 1 in 1000 cases) May require further treatment (1 in 10,000 to 1 in 200,000 cases) Often serious with long-term damage (Less than 1 in 250,000 cases)
– Nausea and Vomiting
– Sore Throat
– Shivering or feeling cold
– Headache
– Dizziness
– Itching
– Pain during injection of drugs
– Swelling or bruising at infusion
– Confusion or memory loss (more common in elderly)
– Injuries to teeth, crowns, lips, tongue and mouth
– Hoarse voice,voice changes
– Vocal cord injuries
– Painful muscles
– Difficulty urinating
– Difficulty breathing
– Visual disturbances
– Worsening of underlying medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease
– Eye injuries
– Nerve Injuries causing paralysis
– Lung infection
– Awareness during the operation
– Bleeding
– Stroke
– Allergic reactions
– Unexpected reactions to anaesthetic drugs
– Inherited reaction to drugs e.g. Malignant hyperthermia, scoline apnoea, porphyria
– Because of any other complication becoming more severe
– Heart attack
– Emboli (clots)
– Lack of oxygen

Complications arising due to procedures that may be performed during your anaesthetic:

Procedure Complication
Intravenous Line (Drip Pain, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, repeated insertions
Central line for specialised monitoring or therapy Pain, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, repeated insertions, puncture of lung, artery or nerve.
Arterial line for specialised monitoring Pain, swelling, bleeding, inflammation, infection, repeated insertions, loss of blood flow to the hand leading to death of fingers
Airway management Damage to lips, teeth, tongue, palate, throat, vocal cords, hoarseness, inhalation of stomach contents (aspiration), pneumonia, obstruction of breathing, failure to manage the airway which may require an emergency operative procedure.
Nerve blocks, spinal or epidural injection Nerve damage, paralysis, backache, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain, bleeding, inadequate pain control.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT ANY INCORRECT OR WITHHELD INFORMATION MAY PLACE YOU AT UNNECESSARY RISK DURING YOUR SURGERY AND ANAESTHESIA*