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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.

Prepare a list of all medicinesClick here to view a form.(What is a PDF document?) 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:

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