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In consultation with the surgeon, you will undergo treatment under general anesthesia. Another word for general anesthesia is narcosis. This text informs you about the preparation for anesthesia. Boerhaave Kliniek applies a number of rules with regard to this preparation. It is in your interest that you adhere to these rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in a planned procedure or treatment not going ahead.

Before the treatment

In preparation for the procedure, it is important that you fast and go to the operating room with an almost empty stomach. You must be present at the clinic half an hour before the start of the operation.
Due to the anesthesia you will undergo, you must be fasting.

Being sober

Fasting means that you are not allowed to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the operation. You may not eat or drink anything from 12 o’clock at night before your treatment.

An empty stomach prevents the contents of the stomach from entering the trachea and lungs during the operation. It is important that you follow these instructions carefully, otherwise the procedure may not take place! A sip of water to take medication is allowed.

Are you taking medications?

The treating specialist and/or anesthesiologist will discuss with you which medications you should stop taking before the operation and which medications you may continue to use. In principle, you should simply swallow your medication. Also make sure you take your medications with you.


It is wise not to smoke before the operation. Smokers’ respiratory tracts are often irritated and therefore more susceptible to inflammation. That is bad for your organs and wound healing. In addition, coughing after surgery can be very painful.

Patients who smoke or use tobacco or nicotine products (such as nicotine patches and gum) at the time of surgery are at greater risk of complications such as skin death and poorer wound healing. People exposed to second-hand smoke may also be at increased risk for similar complications. Furthermore, smoking can have a negative effect on anesthesia, possibly resulting in an increased risk of bleeding. People without exposure to tobacco smoke or nicotine-containing products have a significantly lower risk of such complications.

It is important not to smoke at least two weeks before the operation and to continue doing so throughout the recovery process.

The anesthetist

Before the operation, you will have a discussion with the anesthetist about the form of anesthesia that will be used for a planned operation or procedure. The anesthesiologist’s job does not end when you are asleep. During the operation, this medical specialist monitors all important body functions, such as breathing, blood circulation and temperature regulation, and adjusts them if necessary. The anesthesiologist also ensures that your fluid levels are maintained.

The anesthesiologist receives assistance from anesthesia staff. Together they keep you under continuous control, from the moment you arrive in the operating room to the moment you go to the recovery room. The anesthesiologist will also care for you in the recovery department after the operation. Pain relief after the operation is also arranged by this specialist.

Just before the operation, both a nurse and an anesthesiologist will go through a list with you. A brief physical examination will also take place. The anesthesiologist then accompanies you to the operating room. In the video below, one of our anesthesiologists explains how he does everything he can to put you at ease.

The treatment

In the operating room

  • First, the monitoring equipment for monitoring your vital functions is connected. You will receive stickers on your chest to measure your heart rate and a clip on your finger to monitor the oxygen level in the blood.
  • Your blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure belt.
  • You will then receive an IV in your arm/hand with which the anesthetist will administer the anesthetics. You quickly fall into a deep sleep. You will then be under anesthesia.
  • During the operation, the anesthesiologist continuously monitors your bodily functions closely. The anesthetist will sit at your head during the entire operation.
  • When the operation is complete, the anesthetist will stop administering the anesthetics and you will wake up quickly.
  • You will be transferred from the operating table to a bed and taken to the recovery room by the anesthetist and a nurse.

After treatment

In the recovery room

  • In the recovery room you will be connected to monitoring equipment that monitors your blood pressure, heart rhythm and the oxygen level in your blood.
  • The nurse assesses your physical condition.
  • You will be given oxygen through an oxygen mask.
  • When the oxygen level is adequate, the oxygen mask is removed.
  • When you are fully awake and your blood pressure and pulse are stable, the monitoring equipment will be disconnected. The IV still remains in your arm/hand.
  • If all bodily functions are in order, the nurse will take you to the day care department.

In the Day Care department

  • Shortly after anesthesia you may still be somewhat sleepy. With today’s anesthesia it is an exception that people still suffer from nausea. If this is the case, you can ask the nurse to give you something to combat nausea.
  • When you feel well and can drink again, the infusion will be removed.
  • The nursing staff regularly checks the surgical wounds, depending on the type of procedure, for bleeding and/or swelling in the surgical area.
  • The nurse will help you sit down, get up and go to the toilet.
  • You will be observed for some time, depending on the type of operation.


  • You can go home when the plastic surgeon and nurse deem it safe. This will be approximately three hours after surgery, unless you have had an operation that requires an overnight stay.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up from the clinic.
  • You are not allowed to participate in traffic after the procedure. As a result of the operation and anesthesia, your judgment is impaired than normal.
  • After the procedure you must rest for 24 hours. Make sure you are not alone during these first 24 hours (including the night).
  • After the operation, you will start with light food (such as rusk) and you may drink regularly (tea and/or water) but not more than about 2 liters per day. If you eat too much, too soon after anesthesia or food that is too difficult to digest, this can lead to nausea. Try to prevent nausea and vomiting, this reduces the risk of bleeding and/or engorgement.

Read more about possible risks and complications of anesthesia here