Diabetes and anaesthesia

  This is one of two blogs on diabetes and will explain how we prepare patients who are diabetic for operations and manage them during their hospital stay. There is a second blog which explains how we can prevent and manage diabetes   Diabetic patients have a higher surgical morbidity and mortality. They suffer from… Read more »

Breast feeding and anaesthesia

  If you need either general anaesthesia or sedation while you are breastfeeding I will always give you specific advice at the time but I thought a blog outlining some general principles might be helpful to patients before they come into hospital.   There are two separate issues: first caring for the mother and secondly… Read more »

Preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

  1000 patients suffer a DVT each year in the UK. A clot forms in the large veins deep inside the leg causing swelling and pain. One in 10 of these clots will break off and spread to the lungs where it is called a pulmonary embolus. A pulmonary embolus can result in chest pain… Read more »

Anticoagulants and surgery

  In this blog I am going to discuss how anaesthetists manage patients who are already on anticoagulants. There is another blog on my website about using anticoagulants after operations to prevent deep vein thrombosis and other clotting problems   Patients who are on anticoagulants or blood thinners will not form clots and are more… Read more »


  Major changes occurred in hospitals in the 1980s. Driven by improvements in anaesthetic drugs and monitoring capabilities, we realised that not every patient needed to be admitted to hospital the night before surgery nor to stay until the following day. The development of day case surgery, also known as ambulatory surgery in the United… Read more »

Allergies during anaesthesia

  A number of my patients have been concerned about being allergic to an anaesthetic drug. Most allergic reactions are so mild that they need no treatment but the rare serious allergy is very serious. Working together, anaesthetist and patient can minimise the risk.   An allergy is an abnormal learned response of the immune… Read more »

Nausea and vomiting after anaesthesia

  Nausea after a general anaesthetic remains one of the commonest and most distressing side-effects. Most patients do not actually vomit but nausea is unpleasant and delays recovery as well as discharge from hospital. Although nausea and vomiting are side effects of a number of anaesthetic drugs, it is thought that many patients are nauseous… Read more »

Awareness under anaesthesia

  Being awake during a general anaesthetic is extremely rare but the fear of awareness is not uncommon. British anaesthesia leads the world in undertaking national audit programmes (NAPs) and in 2014 NAP5 reported on awareness after analysing 2,800,000 anaesthetics. This report has significantly increased our understanding and allows us to reduce the risk and… Read more »

Obstructive sleep apnoea OSA

  Obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA is a condition where an individual stops breathing when they are asleep. It is more common in the obese and so we are seeing it more frequently. Most patients also snore but not all patients who snore have OSA as snoring can also arise from nasal obstruction.   It… Read more »

Driving after an anaesthetic

  If you are having a day case anaesthetic – in other words you are going home the same day as your operation – you will receive instructions from the hospital telling you that you have to be taken home, have a responsible adult stay overnight and that you should not drive. Some patients ask… Read more »