Pre-op sedation

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I can imagine that I am going to feel very anxious in the hour or so  just before my surgery - what policy do surgeons have on giving a little something to calm the nerves whilst waiting?

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Most people are pretty anxious before surgery no matter how prepared they are. I can't give personal medical advice. In our practice we generally prescribe about 4 low dose (0.25 mg) Xanex tabs during the prep op visit. Patients can take one each night for a couple of nights before surgery and then take the other two when they hop in the car to be driven to the hospital. We find that the minor tranquilizer improves sleep, greatly reduces anxiety in the hospital, and according to medical reports may help reduce post op pain. We thoroughly discuss the surgery along with risks, complications, and alternatives with each patient prior to the hospitalization for informed consent. We find that people are still alert and thoughtful before surgery, but the medication takes the "edge" off with good effect.

Talk with your surgeon about this during one of the work-up visits rather than at the pre op visit. That way you and your surgeon can discuss whether or not it is a good idea in your case. Surgeons vary in their attitude about pre op sedation. The pre op visit is a busy visit, and may not be the best time to bring up the idea if the surgeon does not routinely prescribe a sedative. In addition, there may be some rules in your hospital that may apply one way or the other. Your surgeon can explain these as well if needed.

Dr. Callery

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