Common Anesthesia Fears Explained [Video]

Ask the Expert: Anesthesia Video Series

About the video: Common fears associated with Anesthesia?

Listen to our anesthesiologist experts Douglas Dubbink, M.D., Stephen Gott M.D., and Thomas Losasso, M.D. reassure you of the safety of anesthesia.

Meet Douglas Dubbink, M.D.

Dr. Dubbink’s approach: “My goal is to improve my patient’s surgical experience. I strive to provide calm gentle reassurance for patients who are anxious about anesthesia and ensure that every patient is skillfully cared for throughout their entire procedure. When a patient awakens after surgery and openly wonders why they were so nervous previously, I know I’ve done my job.”

Dr. Dubbink’s education: Dr. Dubbink earned is undergraduate degree at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He then went on to attend Medical School at Michigan State University. Dr. Dubbink completed his Anesthesiology Residency as well as a Fellowship in Pain Management at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, MN.

Meet Stephen Gott, M.D.

Dr. Gott’s approach: “Anesthesia and surgery can be a very anxious experience for most patients. It is my responsibility to ease that anxiety and fear. By applying the latest in anesthesia techniques and pharmacology to your specific surgery, I am able to optimize your safety and comfort throughout your surgical course.”

Dr. Gott’s education: Dr. Gott studied at the University of Minnesota, first earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Medical Technology and then continuing on to complete Medical School. Dr. Gott completed his anesthesiology residency at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, MN.

Meet Thomas Losasso, M.D.

Dr. Losasso’s approach: “At Summit, we use cutting-edge anesthesia and surgical protocols to optimize patient outcomes, but it’s also important to understand that each patient is special and has unique needs, wants, concerns, and fears regarding their care. Recognizing this helps us to customize the experience. We provide patients with state-of-the-art anesthesia care and an experience like no other ­- my personal goal is to make it great and to make it easy for you.”

Dr. Losasso’s education: Dr. Losasso earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering at Marquette University. He then went on to Medical School at Loyola University School of Medicine in Maywood, IL. Dr. Losasso completed his anesthesiology residency which included neuroanesthsia at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

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Video Transcription

An often fear that I hear is am I going to wake up? And over the 25 years that I’ve been doing this, we used to say the reactions to anesthesia, statistically, were probably in the region of one in 10,000 or so where there was a major reaction to something within the anesthetic. It’s probably in the neighborhood of one in 50- or maybe even one in 100,000 or so depending on whom you read. So it’s developed into a whole lot safer discipline than what it was even when I started 25 years ago. There’s a lot of fear patients experience just before surgery, and most of the fear is surrounded by am I going to wake up during surgery? Am I going to feel anything during surgery? Am I going to be sick after surgery? And what we do is we just reassure them and tell them how we’re going to attempt to prevent any of those kinds of things from happening. And anesthesia’s gotten very safe and very specific over the last decade or so, where we can be pretty assured that patients will really do quite well post-op. Something bad unexpectedly happening to an otherwise healthy person is on the order of one in hundreds of thousands. You are more likely to be killed in a plane crash or have some unexpected, unpredictable event happen to you than to have a life-threatening event related to a reaction to a drug or some other thing happen to you – which I think is important for people to understand. That driving to work every day is associated with the chance you’ll get in a car wreck and be seriously injured. Having anesthesia is safer than that, and people don’t worry about driving to work every day. So we want people to not worry about having an anesthetic ’cause we’ll take care of them.

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  • Douglas Dubbink MD

    Douglas A. Dubbink, M.D.

    “My goal is to improve my patient’s surgical experience. I strive to provide calm gentle reassurance for patients who are anxious about anesthesia and ensure that every patient is skillfully cared for throughout their entire procedure. When a patient awakens after surgery and openly wonders why they were so nervous previously, I know I’ve done my job.”

    More about this expert

  • Thomas Losasso MD

    Thomas J. Losasso, M.D.

    “At Summit, we use cutting-edge anesthesia and surgical protocols to optimize patient outcomes, but it’s also important to understand that each patient is special and has unique needs, wants, concerns, and fears regarding their care. Recognizing this helps us to customize the experience. We provide patients with state-of-the-art anesthesia care and an experience like no other ­- my personal goal is to make it great and to make it easy for you.”

    More about this expert

  • Stephen Gott MD

    Stephen T. Gott, M.D.

    “Anesthesia and surgery can be a very anxious experience for most patients. It is my responsibility to ease that anxiety and fear. By applying the latest in anesthesia techniques and pharmacology to your specific surgery, I am able to optimize your safety and comfort throughout your surgical course.”

    More about this expert

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