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How to prepare for your upcoming procedure

October 22, 2016

It is perfectly a normal experience to have anxiety related to your upcoming procedure. One of the best ways to ease those concerns is to make sure that all your questions and concerns have been addressed prior to the day you are scheduled. I make sure there is a clear understanding of the indications, the expectations, and the risks prior to going into the procedure room with you.


There are different ways with which to have a procedure performed and you will always be given the option to choose. Many of the procedures I perform need nothing more than reassurance and a good amount of local anesthetic. An alternative is to take a short acting sedative prior to the procedure, this takes the edge off any nervousness you may be having, Also available is the use of IV Sedation or Monitored Anesthesia Care at the surgical center, which will render you "twilighted' or completely asleep for your procedure. We will consider these options in detail at our visit. If you elect for anesthesia during your procedure, it is important to follow the NPO (fasting) recommendations prior to the procedure.


On the day of your procedure you should take medications that you normally do at the time you are accustomed to taking them. The exception to this rule are blood thinners, also called anticoagulants. A baby aspirin is usually fine to take prior to your procedure, but other medications like Plavix (Clopidogrel), Warfarin (Coumadin), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Apixaban (Eliquis), Heparin, Enoxaparin (Lovenox) require a discussion with the prescribing physician in order to determine if it is safe to hold these medications long enough to perform the procedure safely.


As long as you did not get IV medications for sedation, post procedure you can go about your normal daily activity. For certain injections, like the medial branch block, I encourage you to perform those activities which actually reproduce your pain to evaluate the benefit of the injection performed. If you do elect to have sedation, then my advice is to put your feet up, catch up with your favorite TV program and take it easy!


Always remember my staff and I are always available to answer your questions and allay your concerns. A phone call, email or message is all it takes. Any issues will be addressed well in advance of your procedure to make sure there are no surprises!




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