Dr Felicity Stone
My name is Felicity Stone and I am a Specialist Anaesthetist in Australia with over 15 years studying and training experience in NSW and NT. I work in Public and Private practice in a range of specialities.
What does this mean for you?
Just as every patient is different, every anaesthetic is tailored to your health, age and fitness, as well as the type of operation you are having. By assessing you before the operation (both on the phone and in person), I can assist you through your journey in the safest way possible.
Once we have met and I have answered any questions you may have, we move into the operating theatre, where monitoring is attached to ensure you remain safe whilst under anaesthetic. Oxygen is given through a mask, and then medicine is administered into the cannula in your vein. Some operations are performed under local anaesthetic (with sedation), and others under general anaesthetic (with you comfortable and unconscious). If you require a general anaesthetic, the medicine I administer will make you comfortable and unconscious before a breathing tube is placed.
Whilst the surgeon is performing the operation, I continue to monitor your health and keep your unconscious or sedated. At the end of the procedure, the anaesthetic is discontinued and I assist you to wake up comfortably. If you remain in hospital the following day I will come and check to make sure there are no problems with your recovery.
What do you need to do?
To enable me to safely give you an Anaesthetic, I need to know some information about your health and previous anaesthetic experience - this is why I require you to fill out a PRE-OPERATIVE QUESTIONNAIRE. In the week before your operation, I will contact you to discuss this information and answer any questions you may have. We will also talk about your operation, the anaesthetic options, and what to expect.
What are the risks involved in having an anaesthetic?
Australia is one of the safest countries in the world to have an anaesthetic; however every procedure has risks that you need to be aware of.
Some risks are common but do not affect you for a long time, such as a sore throat, feeling nauseated after your anaesthetic, or having discomfort or pain from the operation. Other risks occur less often, such as damage to your teeth or lips.
Fortunately the major complications of an anaesthetic are rare. These are having a reaction to a drug (allergy or anaphylaxis), being awareness under anaesthesia, heart attacks, strokes, nerve injuries or long term changes in cognition (thinking). If you have medical conditions that affect your heart, lungs or other body systems, I will explain how the risks are different for you.
Importantly, before an anaesthetic, there are steps you can take to minimise any potential risks:
- Ensure you DO NOT EAT for at least 6 hours before surgery. This means no food after midnight for a morning case, or for an afternoon case, no food after 7am.
- Cut down on smoking as early as possible to lessen the risk of breathing difficulties during and after your operation.
- Please contact me early if you are on any blood thinners (aspirin, warfarin, dabigatran, clopidogrel) so the surgeon and I can work out a plan for you.
- Minimise the amount of alcohol you drink in the 24-48 hours before your anaesthetic in case you become too dehydrated.
- You are not legally able to drive or operate machinery within 24 hours after your anaesthetic, even if this is just sedation.
What is the cost involved?
The fee for your anaesthetic depends on the type of operation, the length of surgery and your health issues. As part of your Anaesthetic, you may have an out-of-pocket expense, or ‘gap’, which will be your personal responsibility to pay. This gap is the difference between what is covered by Medicare and your health fund, and the actual fee for the anaesthesia services.
Whether there will be a gap and the size of the gap varies greatly depending on your health fund. It is also usual for the gap to be larger when the surgery is of long duration, or if the surgery takes longer than expected this cost will be higher. An estimate will be provided before the surgery to allow you to consent fully to the Anaesthetic by understanding the likely costs.
Please contact Probills on 1800 673 118 for a full estimate of your gap or for more information
All feedback is welcome.
Dr Felicity Stone
Dr Felicity Stone is an Anaesthetist based in NSW - Newcastle Australia.