Surgery in Greece

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General questions

Your questions answered.

We have tried to compile a list of the most common questions asked by our patients, and have them answered by our expert doctors.

We reserve the right to publish questions sent to our experts with their respective answers, after removing any information that may identify our patients.

Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?

The best candidates for plastic surgery are individuals in good general health who have reasonable expectations about their appearance. During your initial consultation, it is extremely important to be honest while discussing your goals and concerns so the surgeon can make an informed, realistic assessment about your candidacy for plastic surgery.

What is the right age for plastic surgery?

There are a number of guidelines in place to help surgeons determine appropriate age limitations for plastic surgery procedures. However, many factors may influence the surgeon's ultimate decision regarding your treatment, so it is best to speak personally with a qualified doctor about your goals.

Are there different kinds of anaesthesia?

There are four types of anesthesia: local, regional, sedation and general.

Please see here for more information

Who will administer my anaesthesia?

Local anaesthesia is usually administered by the surgeon.

Regional anaesthesia can be administered by the surgeon (i.e. a wrist or an elbow block), or the anaesthetist (i.e. brachial plexus block, spinal anaesthesia or epidural anaesthesia).

Sedation and general anaesthesia is always administered by an anaesthetist. Anaesthetic nurses and anaesthetic assistants are not allowed to administer anaesthesia in Greece.

Is anaesthesia safe?

Due to advances in patient safety, the risks of anesthesia are very low. Over the past 25 years, anesthesia-related deaths have decreased from two deaths per 10,000 anesthetics administered to one death per 200,000 to 300,000 anesthetics administered.

Certain types of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity, can increase your anesthesia risks. Even so, anesthesiologists routinely bring even very sick patients through major operations safely.

What are the risks of anesthesia?

All operations and all anesthesia have some risks, and they are dependent upon many factors including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Fortunately, adverse events are very rare. Your anesthesiologist takes precautions to prevent an accident from occurring.

The specific risks of anesthesia vary with the particular procedure and the condition of the patient. You should ask your anesthesiologist about any risks that may be associated with your anesthesia.

Should I continue to take my medications prior to surgery?

It is important to tell the doctors providing your care what medications you are taking prior to surgery so that they can be involved in making the decision about stopping or continuing these medications.

Some examples of common medications are:
Aspirin and Plavix are drugs that are used to prevent blood from clotting. They are used to treat patients with certain disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Because of the way aspirin and Plavix work, they can cause increased bleeding when you get a cut or undergo surgery. If you are taking either of these drugs, you should talk to your primary care physician about stopping them before surgery. The decision to stop aspirin or Plavix is based on the reason why you need to be on the drugs (your medical condition) and on the risk of bleeding from the surgery.

Diuretics (“water pills”) are commonly prescribed for treating high blood pressure. This class of drugs can cause changes to electrolyte levels, such as potassium. If you take diuretics, your anesthesiologist may perform certain laboratory testing before surgery.

Diabetic patients are commonly treated with insulin or oral agents. Your anesthesiologist may decrease your usual morning insulin dose or discontinue your oral agents before surgery. Always speak with an anesthesiologist or your regular doctor to discuss your particular medications, before any surgical procedure.

Could herbal medicines, vitamins and other dietary supplements affect my anesthesia if I need surgery?

Anesthesiologists are conducting research to determine exactly how certain herbs and dietary supplements interact with certain anesthetics. They are finding that certain herbal medicines may prolong the effects of anesthesia. Others may increase the risks of bleeding or raise blood pressure. Some effects may be subtle and less critical, but for anesthesiologists anticipating a possible reaction is better than reacting to an unexpected condition. So it is very important to tell your doctor about everything you take before surgery.

Why do I need to have an empty stomach prior to surgery?

It is very important that patients have an empty stomach before any surgery or procedure that needs anesthesia. When anesthesia is given, it is common for all the normal reflexes to relax. This condition makes it easy for stomach contents to go backwards into the esophagus (food tube) and mouth or even the windpipe and lungs. Because the stomach contains acid, if any stomach contents do get into the lungs, they can cause a serious pneumonia, called aspiration pneumonitis.

Can I smoke cigarettes before I have surgery?

You should stay off cigarettes for as long as you can before and after surgery. This will help you have the best possible results from your surgery. For example, quitting will reduce the chances you will have problems like a wound infection after the operation. It is especially important that you not smoke the morning of surgery – just like you don’t eat the morning of surgery, don’t smoke.

Many people find that surgery is also an excellent opportunity to quit smoking for good because most people do not have cravings for cigarettes while in the hospital, and your chances of successfully quitting are almost doubled if you try it around the time of surgery.

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