Key information:

Further patient information is available from the Australian Society of Anaesthetists

Patient Information

Information on this page will help you have a basic understanding of what anaesthesia is and how you can prepare for a scheduled procedure. There is often a degree of stress and anxiety associated with any procedure and anaesthetic. This information has been designed to help reduce that anxiety and make you aware about the whole anaesthetic process. As a patient, you should be assured that Australia is one of the safest countries in which to have anaesthetics due to the fact that our Anaesthetists are highly trained, skilled and knowledgeable.

Prior to your anaesthetic

The Anaesthetist will meet with you prior to your procedure. During this consultation, please make sure that your anaesthetist is aware of any health-related issues that you may have, including appropriate family history. Your anaesthetist can answer any questions you have about anaesthesia during this time.

Anaesthesia for Children

In most situations, one parent/guardian may accompany the child until they are asleep.
Just prior to the procedure, if clinically appropriate, your child will often breathe an anaesthetic gas before a needle is inserted.

Information Sheet

After your procedure

After your procedure, the anaesthetist along with the rest of the team, will endeavour to make your recovery is as smooth as possible.

You may be a little drowsy or dizzy for a while. Other common side effects include a mild sore throat, some degree of nausea or headache. These side effects may not even happen and if they do, are usually temporary. The recovery room nursing staff are specially trained to care for you during this time.

The vast majority of patients following uncomplicated surgery can go home the same day. You will be given something to eat and drink followed by instructions prior to discharge. If you experience any worrying effects following your procedure, please contact either the hospital, your Proceduralist or Anaesthetist.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Why do I need to fast?

    During Anaesthesia, there is a risk of any food in your stomach going into your lungs. This is called “aspiration”. This is a serious condition and has resulted in death.

  • How long before surgery do I need to fast?

    • For adults having an elective (planned) procedure, limited solid food may be taken up to six hours prior to anaesthesia and plain water may be taken up to two hours prior to anaesthesia.
    • For children over six months of age having an elective (planned) procedure, breast milk or formula and limited solid food may be given up to six hours and plain water (no more than 3ml/kg/hr) up to one hour prior to anaesthesia.
    • For infants under six months of age having an elective (planned) procedure, formula may be given up to four hours, breast milk up to three hours and plain water (no more than 3ml/kg/hr) up to one hour prior to anaesthesia.

    Please do not chew gum or have lollies. This increases the stomach juices when you do this and you will not be truly fasted.

  • What are some of the side effects of anaesthetics?

    Common side effects – dizziness, nausea, bruising at the site of injection.
    Often temporary and can be treated if necessary.
    Uncommon side effects – heart trouble, difficulty breathing, allergic reactions.
    Your Anaesthetist will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have prior to your Anaesthetic.

  • Do I continue my normal medications prior to surgery?

    You will be screened by the pre-op staff beforehand and your healthcare professionals will decide in discussion with you. In general these medicines are usually stopped:

    • Diabetic medication.
    • Blood thinning medication.
    • Hypertensive medication.
  • I feel unwell, do I cancel my procedure?

    It depends on the urgency of your procedure, your health and social circumstances. For example, on one extreme, if you are just getting over a simple cold, are in good health and have a procedure you really don’t want to delay, then there is no need to cancel.

    On the other hand, if you have severe chest pain, are in poor health and have an elective procedure that can be delayed, then we would recommend you postpone your procedure.

    Your Anaesthetist is happy to speak with you if you are unsure. Please contact our rooms.

  • Can I go into theatre with my child?

    In general yes, one caregiver is allowed into the theatre as your child goes off to sleep. You will leave the theatre once your child has gone to sleep.
  • Do I need to remove my false fingernails?

    No longer a requirement. Call us if unsure.
  • How do I prepare my child about their upcoming procedure?

    Every child is different and as the parent, you will be the best guide for them pre-operatively.
    Speak to them honestly at your child’s level of understanding by telling them why it is needed.
    Bring your child’s favourite toys, books etc. on the day of surgery.
    Speaking to other parents or children who have gone through the procedure before may help.
    Your Anaesthetist can talk to you beforehand if you have any concerns.
  • Can I choose my Anaesthetist?

    We work with all proceduralists and you may certainly request your Anaesthetist.
    In most cases, we can accommodate your request, however due to practical reasons, this may not always be possible.

Information Videos

What is anaesthesia?

Preparing for your Anaesthesia

Anaesthetic Fees – Informed Financial Consent

There are fees associated with anaesthetic services. The costs of your anaesthetic is calculated as a proportion of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) rate of fees and are set independently by each anaesthetist as is a requirement of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It is possible to have an out of pocket cost differ from each doctor for similar services provided.

The fees vary with the type of procedure, complexity, time taken, time of day and day of the week. They are generally higher if performed after hours or on a weekend or public holiday.

If you have health insurance you can claim both Medicare and health fund rebates. Health fund payments differ between funds and it is best if you contact your fund to find out I how much they will contribute.

If you are uninsured you can only claim the Medicare rebate.

The greater the benefits paid from your fund, the less “out of pocket” or “gap”. In some cases we may be able to bill your health fund and Medicare direct under their “known gap” or “access gap” arrangement which will reduce your “out of pocket” fees.

Patient information regarding anaesthetic fees can be obtained from the ASA website:

Informed Financial Consents can be obtained from our office and we will be happy to send you information on your estimated out of pocket costs.

If you have anything about your anaesthetic fee you would like to discuss,
please contact our office on (07) 4942 9544 prior to your procedure.


Mackay Anaesthetic Group follow the terms and conditions of privacy and confidentiality in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP’s), forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 (‘the act’). This document can be found here.