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A 48-year-old member asked:

what are the safety precautions that should be taken whileadministering anesthesia if the person has heart problems?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Depends: There are many types of "heart problems" and all of them would have different risk factors. The risks could range from very minimal to severe, all depending on what the heart condition is. Also depends not just on anesthesia but also how major or how long the surgery might be. Would need much more information than can be reviewed in this type of forum.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Consult your anesthesiologist ahead of surgery if heart disease is a concern. Extra tests might be needed to determine if the heart is in the best possible condition prior to surgery.
Nov 29, 2012
Dr. Gary Ritholz
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
The answer depends: On the severity and what sort of heart disease exists. Some anesthetic agents are cardiac depressants. Others are not. Some increase heart rate others lower. But today anesthesia is extremely safe and for all but the sickest patients it is a consideration but not one that can not be handled.
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
Anesthesiology 29 years experience
When a patient: Has heart problems, an anesthetic must be tailored to minimize risk. Certain medications, techniques, and invasive monitors may be used to allow for tighter control of the patient's vital signs to maximize safety, your anesthesiologist will make sure that your cardiac condition is optimized preop.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Weak heart: Patients who have heart problems usually have an underlying perfusion problem with their heart muscle. This means that it is somewhat dependent on a "normal" blood pressure. Anesthetic drugs can cause a decrease in blood pressure that can adversely affect the heart. The patient should discuss their condition with the anesthesiologist prior to surgery so that preventative steps can be taken.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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