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Our goal is to ensure that the surgery and examinations are painless and as safe and comfortable as possible. During the surgery, we monitor and maintain vital functions such as breathing and circulation. After the surgery, we will still be there for you to treat any pain and any other complaints.
Before the surgery
Three to four days before the procedure at the latest, visit your GP to carry out the preoperative diagnostics. You may use the enclosed form. Bring the result of the examination with you on the day of the intervention. Talk to us without delay if any abnormalities are detected during this preliminary examination. Likewise, check again the day before the surgery whether you have all the required documentation. Confirm your attendance or your appointment by calling the phone number of your surgeon. Have a light dinner on the eve of the surgery, and only drink a moderate amount of alcohol, if any. Make sure that someone will take you home, and will stay with you after the outpatient procedure. You will be able to go home approx. four to six hours after your appointment.
On the day of the surgery
If you regularly take medication for high blood pressure, you should also take it with a little fluid on the day of the surgery. Do not eat, drink, or smoke!
Take a shower at home prior to the procedure. Do not use any skin cream after the shower. Do not put make-up on, and remove nail polish. Jewellery should not be worn in the operating theatre. Only remove dentures when requested to do so. The intubation (tube) will be inserted into the trachea.
In the operating theatre
In the operating theatre or in the preparation room, we start preparing for anaesthesia by continuously monitoring your cardiac activity (ECG). We measure your blood pressure, and a sensor shows us the oxygen content in your blood. As the next step, we place an infusion into one of veins in your arm or at the back of your hand. The remaining procedures depend on the selected method of anaesthesia.
Under anaesthesia (= general anaesthesia), your consciousness and the sensation of pain in the entire body is switched off. You are in a deep sleep-like state during the entire duration of the procedure. Anaesthesia usually requires a combination of different medications. It is usually administered initially via a venous drip or an infusion cannula, and later, if necessary, also via breathing air. If the intervention takes longer, a tube is inserted into the trachea (intubation) or into the throat (laryngeal mask) once you've fallen asleep to make sure that you can breathe. Intubation, in particular, guarantees a high level of safety, since it separates the airway from the digestive tract and thus prevents saliva, gastric juice, or stomach contents from getting into the lungs.
Thanks to the modern anaesthetic techniques and new medications, you will be awake a few minutes after the surgical procedure has ended. You may still feel tired or dizzy for a while. If you feel nausea or pain, let us know. We are there for you and have the suitable antidotes available.
In spinal anaesthesia, an anaesthetic is injected into the lumbar spine (approx. 10 cm below the spinal cord) which is filled with the cerebrospinal fluid. Having applied local anaesthesia, the anaesthetist inserts a thin needle into your back, and injects a small amount of anaesthetic into the cerebrospinal fluid space. This eliminates the sensation of pain in legs and lower abdomen. The legs become temporarily numb. The regulatory capacity of the circulatory system is also impaired.
However, you remain conscious and awake. We recommend the procedure only in exceptional cases for outpatient anaesthesia.
In plexus anaesthesia, the hand and the arm (and possibly the shoulder) are temporarily anaesthetized. You remain conscious, but feel no pain. If you are bothered by the ambiance of the operating theatre or the noise and you would prefer to sleep, we may give you a sleeping pill. You may also use headphones and listen to your favourite music. The anaesthetic (local anaesthetic) for plexus anaesthesia is usually injected into the armpit (or into the neck before shoulder surgeries). It is necessary to wait for approx. 30 minutes until it has taken effect. Then the arm becomes numb and usually flaccid. This effect usually lasts 4 hours or more. Until then, you will remain in our care. You will be able to leave the surgery afterwards when accompanied.
Other local anaesthesia procedures
These are, in particular, IV regional anaesthesia, epidural anaesthesia, and conduction anaesthesia of various nerves. Since they are not used as often as the other methods, we will not describe them in detail here. In individual cases, the anaesthetist will discuss the procedure he/she has proposed, or you may ask him/her about it.
Risk of anaesthesia
Continuous care and close monitoring by your anaesthetist significantly reduce the risk of serious incidents. In many cases, the risk of serious complications is no higher than the risk of everyday activities at home or in road traffic. However, certain pre-existing medical conditions, advanced age, and other circumstances may increase the individual risk. Discuss your personal risk with the anaesthetist.