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Anesthesiology/Refusing premedication


I have an upcoming surgery under general anesthesia. Can I refuse premedication with Valium or Versed in the holding area?

Background: 30-something, ASA Class 1. I have two prior surgeries with general anesthesia. I find the second one a lot less traumatic because I have full memory of the events. I recall sitting in the pre-surgery area, entering the OR, chatting with the doctors and nurses and breathing anesthetic from the mask. I did not refuse premedication, it's just that my anesthesiologist did not provide it and it made for a better experience than the first surgery.

Is it reasonable to request that I want to be awake, alert and oriented until I get on the operating table? Would you consider it if you were my anesthesiologist?

It's reasonable, and I recommend it! Some anesthesiologists or CRNAs may not like the idea though.  So, I've often suggested to friends that they simply add valium and versed "type medications" as an allergy, saying they make you too disoriented and shouldn't have them.  THAT usually stomps out the unnecessary preop medication.


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JM Starkman, MD


Over twenty-five years of adult and pediatric, inpatient and outpatient clinical anesthesia practice--some private, some group.

American Association of Physicians and Surgeons. My county medical society.

[not a researcher]

American medical school graduate. Board Certified. Fellowship trained Cardiovascular and Pediatric anesthesia subspecialist.

Past/Present Clients
Over 20,000 anesthetics, the majority of which have been personally managed, with less than 5% consisting of supervising nurse anesthetists or in-training resident physicians.

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