Document Type: Review Article


Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Alcohol use poses a variety of health complications. Because alcohol consumption in the days prior to surgery can induce lower blood pressure, the anesthesiologist will need to monitor blood pressure very closely during surgery to prevent hypotension. Before surgery, it is important for anesthesiologist to be aware about the amount and timing of recent alcohol consumption. Less anesthesia should be administered for chronic alcohol users during surgery. Alcohol impairs liver function and the liver is less able to metabolize the anesthetics given during surgery. Hence, fewer anesthetics are needed during surgical procedure. Indeed, nerve receptors are mostly diminished in chronic users of alcohol and hence this is another reason to avoid an abundant amount of anesthesia during surgery. Anesthesiologists should determine what type of anesthetic is the best for patient and what levels of dosing should be administered. The anesthesiologist must know about history of alcohol use due to determine what levels are most appropriate for the approach. In the postoperative period, the patient may require a sedative to reduce any withdrawal symptoms, pain relieving and cognitive distortions management.