Rajesh K. Sharma, MD

Prepare for upcoming procedure

Anxiety is perfectly normal when a procedure is upcoming. One of the best ways to ease those concerns is to make sure that all your questions and concerns have been addressed prior to the day you are scheduled.

My goal is always to make sure you have a clear understanding of the indications, the expectations, and the risks prior to going into the procedure room with you. We have different ways to accomplish our medical goals and you will always be given the option to choose.

Many of the procedures I perform need nothing more than reassurance and a good amount of local anesthetic. Sometimes we can use a short-acting sedative to take the edge off any nervousness you may be having, Also available is the use of IV sedation or monitored anesthesia care at the surgical center, which allows you to “twilight” or completely sleep for your procedure. I will review the options with you in advance. Anesthesia does require fasting.

On the day of your procedure you should take medications that you normally do at the time you are accustomed to taking them. The exception to this rule are blood thinners, also called anticoagulants. A baby aspirin is usually fine to take prior to your procedure, but other medications like Plavix (Clopidogrel), Warfarin (Coumadin), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Apixaban (Eliquis), Heparin, Enoxaparin (Lovenox) require a discussion with the prescribing physician in order to determine if it is safe to hold these medications long enough to perform the procedure safely.

As long as you did not get IV medications for sedation, post procedure you can go about your normal daily activity. For certain injections, like the medial branch block, I encourage you to perform those activities which actually reproduce your pain to evaluate the benefit of the injection performed. If you do elect to have sedation, then my advice is to put your feet up, catch up with your favorite TV program and take it easy!

Always remember my staff and I are always available to answer your questions and address your concerns. A phone call, email or message is all it takes. Any issues will be addressed well in advance of your procedure to make sure there are no surprises!