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Can anesthesia affect premature ventricular contractions?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 1337 Questions
Hi Doctor:

I have pvcs and am on Atenolol as needed. I need a colonoscopy as routine. Had a polyp about 6 years ago and due for another colonoscopy. I am nervous regarding the anesthesia they use for procedure. Can the anesthesia affect the pvcs and put me at higher risk of complications?

Posted Sun, 3 Aug 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Not at high risk.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. The anesthesia for your colonoscopy is likely to be sedation or possibly general anesthesia. I advise you mention to the doctor that you have PVCs and the doctor may wish to do a ECG. This may or may not show PVCs but will be a baseline prior to your colonoscopy. If you take atenolol frequently then I suggest you take a dose in the morning. The anesthesia whether sedation or general anesthesia is unlikely to make the PVCs any worse. You will be monitored throughout. If they do occur then there are a number of drugs which can easily be used to treat an episode. You are not a high risk of any cardiac complications. I am confident that you will not have a significant problem during the colonoscopy.
I hope this is of help. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr K A Pottinger,
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