14 doctors weighed in:

General anesthesia/endotracheal intubation--what do they do if asthma?

14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Murphy
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Pretty safe

Before any asthmatic undergoes surgery and intubation, there asthma should be under excellent control.
If one's asthma is not under control, unless it is an emergency surgery, most surgeons and anesthesiologists would probably defer surgery until later.

In brief: Pretty safe

Before any asthmatic undergoes surgery and intubation, there asthma should be under excellent control.
If one's asthma is not under control, unless it is an emergency surgery, most surgeons and anesthesiologists would probably defer surgery until later.
Dr. Andrew Murphy
Dr. Andrew Murphy
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3 doctors agree

In brief: Same

If it is elective surgical procedure , with an asthmatic attach surgery will be cancelled , till the asthma is treated , then procedure will be same, except bronco- dilators will be used , to prevent an attach during procedure.

In brief: Same

If it is elective surgical procedure , with an asthmatic attach surgery will be cancelled , till the asthma is treated , then procedure will be same, except bronco- dilators will be used , to prevent an attach during procedure.
Dr. Addagada Rao
Dr. Addagada Rao
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1 comment
Dr. Karen Sibert
It is very seldom necessary to cancel surgery unless an asthma attack is actually occurring. We have many ways to treat and control bronchospasm before, during, and after surgery.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Pre treat

When we have a patient with asthma we try and ensure that inhalers are used prior to anesthesia.
If at all possible we try and avoid an endotracheal tube, but this is not usually possible. If asthma is triggered your anesthesiologist will be easily able to treat it during surgery. Talk to your anesthesiologist before the operation.

In brief: Pre treat

When we have a patient with asthma we try and ensure that inhalers are used prior to anesthesia.
If at all possible we try and avoid an endotracheal tube, but this is not usually possible. If asthma is triggered your anesthesiologist will be easily able to treat it during surgery. Talk to your anesthesiologist before the operation.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
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Dr. Gary Steven
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Nothing different

As with any chronic disease, it is best to get asthma under good control before surgery.
But the muscle relaxants used in general anesthesia are a great treatment for severe asthma, and can be used during life-threatening asthma attacks. The only real concern is that if asthmatic inflammation is not adequately controlled before surgery, it may cause complications afterwards.

In brief: Nothing different

As with any chronic disease, it is best to get asthma under good control before surgery.
But the muscle relaxants used in general anesthesia are a great treatment for severe asthma, and can be used during life-threatening asthma attacks. The only real concern is that if asthmatic inflammation is not adequately controlled before surgery, it may cause complications afterwards.
Dr. Gary Steven
Dr. Gary Steven
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1 comment
Dr. Karen Sibert
I have to disagree. Muscle relaxants do nothing to treat bronchospasm (and some that release histamine can actually provoke bronchospasm), though they may make it easier to manage the ventilator by relaxing the chest wall muscles if a patient is in status asthmaticus. The anesthesia gases in current use actually are good bronchodilators, and make anesthesia quite safe for asthmatic patients.
Dr. Paul Williams
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

General anesthesia can often make an asthma attack better, but patients with severe asthma and poor lung function can be more difficult to wean off anesthesia.

In brief: Depends

General anesthesia can often make an asthma attack better, but patients with severe asthma and poor lung function can be more difficult to wean off anesthesia.
Dr. Paul Williams
Dr. Paul Williams
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Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Avoid triggers

Asthma that is well controlled with inhalers poses little risk under ga.
The anesthesia gases in current use (desflurane, sevoflurane) actually are good bronchodilators. We can even administer albuterol during surgery if necessary. Smooth insertion and removal of the breathing tube helps avoid an asthma attack. A nebulizer treatment can be given before and after surgery too.

In brief: Avoid triggers

Asthma that is well controlled with inhalers poses little risk under ga.
The anesthesia gases in current use (desflurane, sevoflurane) actually are good bronchodilators. We can even administer albuterol during surgery if necessary. Smooth insertion and removal of the breathing tube helps avoid an asthma attack. A nebulizer treatment can be given before and after surgery too.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Dr. Karen Sibert
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