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The patient’s guide to anesthesia

The patient’s guide to anesthesia. This guide will provide you with information in order to prepare you in the best possible way for anesthesia.


The patient’s guide to anesthesia - Atlas Hospital





The patient’s guide to anesthesia – Atlas Hospital


What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia relieves you from pain and other unpleasant sensations. There are different types of anesthesia and does not always have to cause a loss of consciousness.

Local anesthesia is an injection that leads to the numbness of a small part of your body. You are awake all the time, but you do not feel pain.

Regional anesthesia means an injection that leads to the numbness of the larger and / or deeper part of your body. You are awake all the time, but you do not feel pain.

General anesthesia is a state of controlled absence of consciousness, loss of pain and amnesia. General anesthesia is necessary for some interventions. You are unconscious all the time and do not feel any pain.



 Atlas anesthesia team

Anesthesiologist is a specialist doctor who:


Preoperative evaluation

 If your operation is planned (and not an emergency), you will usually be called to the hospital for a pre-operative preparation  of a few weeks or days prior to surgery.

Hospital staff will assess your general health status. You will be asked questions (anamnestic data) and the doctor can listen to your heart and lungs (do a physical examination). Additional tests will be organized if necessary. This most often involves laboratory blood tests and ECG (heart rate monitoring).

Probably you will be tested for certain important infections, most often with swabs (skin, nose, dyspnea, wounds …).

The staff should make the exact list of medicines you are taking. Please bring with you a list of medicines and medicines in your original packaging.  You can fill in the list of drugs you use in the Pre-admission questionnaire.

You and your anesthesiologist

If you have some allergies it must be noted! You will be examined preoperatively,  by an anesthesiologist. If you need blood transfusion during or after surgery, blood testing will be  required.  You can be informed about the risks and benefits of blood transfusion. It is necessary to ensure that blood transfusion is given according to clearly defined criteria, only in clearly justified cases, if necessary and according to a clearly defined protocol.

If you know that you have high blood pressure, it would be a good idea to take a list with more recent blood pressure values, having in mind that blood pressure can increase in hospital conditions and this may not be a true picture of your usual blood pressure. Talking with your anesthesiologist is a very useful opportunity to ask any questions you have about the anesthesia. If hospital employees do not have all the answers you need, an anesthesiologist  will help you find out more.

Before you arrive at hospital

Before you arrive at hospital

If you are a smoker, we advise you to stop smoking a few weeks before surgery in order to reduce the risk of breathing complications and make your anesthesia safer.If you are obese, weight loss can reduce the percentage of complications during anesthesia.If you have loose, damaged or broken teeth, visiting a dentist and repair will reduce the possibility of tooth damage during anesthesia. If you are suffering from some chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive bronchitis, thyroid gland diseases, heart disease, or unregulated blood pressure, you should visit your doctor or specialist doctor before attending hospital.

On the day of your operation

The hospital staff will give you clear instructions regarding the intake of food and fluids prior to surgery. These instructions are very important. If food or fluid are present in your stomach during anesthesia, they can get into the airways and seriously damage the lungs.If you are a smoker, you should not smoke on the day of surgery.

If you regularly take  medicines (your personal therapy):   most medication should not be discontinued before surgery, but there are very important exceptions. You will need specific and clear instructions on the preoperative use of medication from a team working on the preoperative preparation of patients – you can get them from the hospital staff or your anesthesiologist.If you are overweight, sick or do not feel well on the day of hospital admission, please contact the hospital and ask for advice.

Anesthesiologist appointment before surgery

Anesthesia team - Atlas Hospital

Your anesthesiologist will visit you before surgery. You will discuss about  the data obtained during preoperative preparation. You will discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used, the benefits and the risks, taking into account your wishes when choosing anesthesia. After all that, your anesthesiologist will decide what  anaesthetic  is best for you or make a decision instead of you if you prefer it.

If there is a possibility for choosing anesthesia, this will depend primarily on:

Premedication is given prior to anesthesia. Premedication prepares your body for surgery – it triggers mechanisms to reduce the threshold of pain, reduces the amount of acid in the stomach and helps you to relax. Premedication can lead to drowsiness after surgery. If you feel that your premedication might be helpful, for more information, feel free to contact your anesthesiologist.

Needle (venous route) is used in most adults to start anesthesia. Talk to your anesthesiologist if you are worried or have fear of needles.

Sedation: It involves the use of small doses of anesthetics or similar medicines to bring the patient into a sleep-like state. If you are undergoing local or regional anesthesia, it will be necessary to decide whether you want to:




Anestehsia Atlas Hospital


Once you are on your way to operating theatre


Final check up is performed in the operating room before starting with anesthesia. You will be asked to confirm your first and last name, the operation planned, to confirm the side of the body (left or right) that will be operated (if applicable in your case), to confirm what was the last time you ate or drank and information about  the allergies.


Initiation of anesthesia

Your anesthesia can begin either in the premedication room or in the operating room. In the team with your anesthesiologist is a well-trained assistant – an anesthetist. An anesthesiologist or anesthetist will slowly connect devices that will measure your pulse, blood pressure and oxygen percentage.

Almost all medications, including sometimes local anesthetics, are applied to the vein through a cannula (plastic tube) that is most commonly found on the back of the hand. If you have fear of needles, please inform anesthesiologist. The needle can not be avoided during anesthesia, but there are things that can help you.


Local and Regional Anesthesia

If you get local or regional anesthesia:


General anesthesia

General anesthesia can begin in two ways:

When a loss of consciousness occurs, an anesthesiologist who is all the time  beside you continues to give you medication to keep you under anesthesia as long as it is necessary.


Recovery room

After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. Medical staff will take care about your comfort and you will not feel nauseous, if possible. Once you are completely recovered  from anesthesia, you will be transferred to your room.

Recoveri room


The pain

Good pain therapy is of great importance and some patients need more than others. It is much easier to manage  the pain in the beginning before the pain becomes severe. Pain relief can be achieved by more frequent administration of analgesics (painkillers) or an adequate combination of several different analgesics.

In some cases, pain may be a warning sign that it’s not all right, so medical personnel should always be notified and you should seek help.

These are some of the ways to reduce pain:


Understanding the risk:

People often misunderstand the numbers regarding  the risk of anesthesia. We hope this will be useful:


Nowadays serious complications of anesthesia are rare.

The risk of anesthesia  can not be completely eliminated, but modern equipment, well-trained staff and modern medicine have made anesthesia much safer over the past few years.

To understand the risks that anesthesia carries with you, it is necessary to:

The risk and complications of anesthesia for you as an individual depend on:


Undesirable effects and complications

More information about side effects and complications of anesthesia are shown below:

RA- appear during regional anesthesia

OA- occur during general anesthesia



Very common side effects





Not so common adverse events




rare side effects



The questions you would like to ask your anesthesiologis:


Osmana Đikića 3, Belgrade

1100 Belgrade, Serbia

Working hours