April 6, 2022

Panic Attacks in Surgery? TOP 3 Anesthesia Anxiety Tips (All Natural!)

Surgery and anesthesia anxiety are real and can lead to panic attacks in the operating room. This can cause surgery and anesthesia complications. Dr. Kaveh reveals powerful, natural anxiety relievers to help!

Surgery Panic Attacks: 3 POWERFUL Anxiety Relievers Before Anesthesia (all natural!)

Surgery panic attacks are very real and can be dangerous. But what breaks my heart is that patients don’t believe they can take control of their anxiety and panic before surgery ad anesthesia.

The truth is that patients can not only control the anxiety and panic but also control the complications from that anxiety and panic, like worse pain, nausea, and surgery failure.

I’m going to share my top 3 tips to control anxiety and panic in the most stressful situations, like surgery, without using medications. Why no medications? That’s because it may be dangerous to use traditional anti-anxiety drugs before surgery and anesthesia, things like marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax.

We’ll talk about supplements, essential oils, mind-body techniques, and more. I’ll also share the dirty tricks behind the essential oil industry that might cost you more money than you need to spend. And stick around until the end where I’ll demonstrate on my own body how powerful these techniques can be to even break panic attacks in the operating room!

But First, Where Are You Losing Control?

In most patients, anxiety and panic grow stronger with the less control you feel you have

In most patients, anxiety and panic grow stronger with the less control you feel you have. So take a second and first ask yourself “what do I want to do now?” It can be related to surgery or not. And then ask yourself “do you think you can do it?”

If you the answer is “no,” meaning you DON'T think you can do it, it means you probably have some loss of control. And that’s probably contributing to your anxiety, which with enough stress, like in surgery, can blossom into a panic attack. And that’s what we’re going to conquer by the end of this video.

So please, take this first step. It'll make everything else much more powerful!

Your mental health state before surgery can have a tremendous impact on your surgical outcomes. The more calm and at peace patients are before anesthesia, the less likely they are to suffer panic attacks in surgery and in the operating room
Some patients feel they can't control their anxiety... this could not be more wrong

1: Supplements to Control Anxiety

Melatonin & Magnesium for Surgery Panick Attacks

Patients should NOT take any supplements without first talking to their doctor. This is especially important before surgery! That’s because some supplements, even natural botanicals, can interfere with surgery and anesthesia and cause serious complications.

However, some patients that I’m caring for are good candidates for some supplements. Two of the safer and more powerful supplements are melatonin and magnesium.

Melatonin for Surgery Anxiety?

You’ve probably heard of melatonin as a sleep supplement, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Melatonin also has varying degrees of anxiety and pain relieving properties, too.

Sleep is disrupted by anxiety and anesthesia [links], and worse sleep can lead to worse anxiety and pain after anesthesia and surgery.

Improving sleep after surgery and anesthesia with melatonin is likely safe and at least partly effective, especially as part of a multimodal plan to reduce anxiety and pain around surgery. Reducing anxiety before surgery can help reduce the risk of a panic attack developing before anesthesia.

Magnesium to Reduce Anesthesia and Anxiety

Magnesium is an important mineral that actually has some mild anesthetic properties. It’s an NMDA receptor antagonist like some other anesthesia medications like ketamine and nitrous oxide. I actually sometimes give IV magnesium to reduce anesthesia requirements in surgery!

Some studies show that giving IV magnesium before surgery can reduce anesthesia requirements. Those sedative properties can help reduce anxiety and the chances of a panic attack, even before surgery. That’s why I recommend patients have adequate magnesium stores before going under anesthesia. While whole food sources are always preferable, sometimes supplementation maybe necessary.

Like before, always talk with your doctor before starting any supplements. That’s especially true for magnesium, particularly if you have kidney disease.

Alcohol can be an anxiety reliever for many patients, but this should not be used before and after surgery because it can interefere with the surgery and anesthesia, such as increase bleeding risk
While tempting, alcohol is not a safe anxiety reliever before surgery

2: Auditory stimulation to Reduce Anxiety and Panic Attacks Before Surgery

Music Therapy can Reduce Surgical Anxiety

The mind-body connection is incredibly powerful. Watch my demonstration in the video to see just how powerful it can be!

You can prime your body to reduce anxiety with auditory stimulation. Music therapy is one example of how audio can reduce our anxiety without medications. The cool trick is that there’s no magic to the music type. You can literally pick whatever you want if it resonates with you!

Guided Imagery to Reduce Surgical Pain and Anxiety

Guided imagery is a powerful way to harness your mind’s creativity to reduce its own pain. Most patients don’t believe me at first, but a single, 15 minute session can be as effective as 5mg of oxycodone for pain relief. That pain relief can also have anxiety relieving effects without the risks of additional medications. Less pain and less anxiety means lower chances of a panic attack before and after surgery.

Positive Affirmations

This is the most unbelievable one auditory stimulation biohack. I’ll have to do a whole separate article on this. Positive affirmations, even when you’re unconscious under anesthesia, can affect your surgery and anesthesia. We’ll definitely be talking more about this!

2.5: Essential Oils to Improve Mental Health Before Surgery

Lots of my patients enjoy essential oils for the aroma. But did you know they can be powerful enough to reduce anxiety before surgery?

But which oils have evidence? And how do you do it?

It doesn’t look like you necessarily need the essential oil to reduce your anxiety. It may be more an effect of the deep, mindful breathing you’re doing rather than essential oil itself. So, I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to spend tons of money on fancy essential oils if you want to reduce your anxiety and prevent panic attacks before surgery.

But if you enjoy the aroma of oils like sweet marjoram, lavender, mandarin, and ginger, go for it! Those oils have the most evidence in reducing surgery anxiety and panic attacks.

You want to breathe in through your belly for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, then exhale for 3 seconds. Do that 3 times. You can repeat it again in 5 minutes if you want. This gives the essential oils a chance to absorb through your lungs to reach your brain. It’s kind of like how our inhaled anesthetic gases work!

We should listen to our brain, like this image shows a stethoscope against a brain. Our mental health can be under our control with the proper preparation, and this is all the more important before surgery and anesthesia to help reduce anesthesia and surgical risks in the operating room. Preventing panic attacks is just one of the many benefits of preparing for surgery with the right mindset
Mental health state before surgery can heavily impact your anxiety and panic attack risk in the operating room

3: Breathwork and Biofeedback: Breathing to Reduce Anxiety and Surgery Panic Attacks

Now we reach my favorite: breathing and biofeedback. Your breathing can have a powerful feedback effect on your heart and brain. I demonstrate my favorite breathing technique in the video, so be sure to check it out! Paired with the anesthesia medications we give you, this can have a powerful, synergistic effect to reduce anxiety and the complications of pre-surgery anxiety.

Anesthesia Anxiety Meds are Okay Before Surgery!

It’s absolutely okay to get anti-anxiety medications from your anesthesiologist before surgery. This can help prevent surgery panic attacks and may even improve wound healing by relaxing your body. I want my patients to know that they can make the effect so much stronger when they combine these strategies with natural techniques. The stronger the effects, the less medications you need. The fewer medications you need, the fewer side effects!

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