Nobody looks forward to surgery, but for planned procedures you can raise the odds it will be a success. While many people meet with the surgeon and investigate the hospital, far fewer take the time to discuss the procedure with an important member of the team: the anesthesiologist. The American Society of Anesthesiologists passes along these tips:

KNOW YOUR ANESTHESIOLOGIST Your surgeon has your medical history, but make sure to also meet with and inform the anesthesiologist about any health problems you have or drugs you are taking.

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DISCUSS YOUR RECOVERY Ask about any potential aftereffects of the anesthesia and what you can do to minimize risks and improve your recuperation.

FEAR FACTOR Many people have heard stories about problems with anesthesia, especially for older patients. Discuss any fears you have, even if you think they are trivial or exaggerated.