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Common fears

People have fears about all sorts of things in life, especially those they don’t understand. Many people have a fear of anaesthetics – hence the reason for this website! Many of the fears about anaesthesia come from snippets of incomplete information or from sensationalist press reports. All have a basis in fact, but need to be explained in context and in detail. It is appropriate for you to discuss your concerns about any of these matters with your anaesthetist. Read More.

Possible complications

Although anaesthesia is safer than in the past, complications do occur. One large study showed that about 10 per cent of patients experienced some problem during or after the anaesthetic. Read more.

Questions to ask

There are questions for you to ask your anaesthetist before your operation, although you may not want to use them all. Read more.

What you can do to help

In general, you should be as well as possible before undergoing any anaesthetic or surgery. Here are the things you can do to help. Read more.

Common complaints

Many symptoms and complaints have been ascribed to anaesthesia over the years, often by well-meaning surgeons, nurses, family doctors, or helpful relatives. This most often occurs when the real cause of the problem is not obvious. In many cases the complaint is not actually related to the anaesthetic. However, if you have a concern, you should talk to your anaesthetist and seek an explanation. Read more.

Is there a problem?

Anaesthetics are not treatments in themselves. Patients do not go into hospital to have an anaesthetic, but to have an operation for which they need an anaesthetic. As a result, any complication is usually regarded as an unwanted effect. Many anaesthetists recognise that most problems in anaesthesia relate to a complex set of factors, including the patient’s condition, the actions of those who provide care, equipment, and the environment in which the operation is performed – the hospital, and the regulatory agencies. Thus, perfect outcome after anaesthesia is unlikely to be achieved in every case. Read more.

What it will cost?

Before you go into hospital for any proposed treatment as a private patient, it’s your right to ask your doctor about his or her fees and to find out about the fees of other doctors who might be involved in your care. You should also ask your health fund about what you are covered for and whether you will have any out-of-pocket costs to pay. Read more.