When I first saw the title of Barry L. Freidberg’s book, I thought it was about financial recovery, sort of a “How to Survive Foreclosure and/or Bankruptcy.” Seeing the full title, Getting Over Going Under: 5 Things You Must Know before Anesthesia straightened me right out and piqued my interest.
Dr. Friedberg has developed a method of anesthesiology that does not threaten brain health (or life), prevents excessive post-operative pain, and does not cause the patient nausea and vomiting. In Getting Over Going Under he explains his own method of anesthesia, which does not require guesswork dosages. Instead he promotes the use of propofol to knock you out, ketamine to kill the pain, and a brain monitor to make sure you are the same person you were before anesthesia.
Patients have long known the risks of anesthesia— brain damage, death, dementia—and Friedberg explains why these risks exist and how to avoid them, as well as many other unpleasant post-operative experiences. He also advises about patient rights and how to request “Goldilocks Anesthesia,” so named because it is not too much, not too little, but just right.
Friedberg includes a chapter on Michael Jackson; some people are fearful about propofol because it was the drug administered to Jackson before he died. He explains how a drug he has repeatedly administered safely could have resulted in a death, and what should have been done to prevent it.
If it will improve a patient’s surgical experience and make post-op more pleasant, why isn’t Goldilocks Anesthesia used routinely? Friedberg points out the financial cost to large pharmaceutical conglomerates. As with everything else, it’s all about the Benjamins.
Before having any procedure that requires anesthesia, read Getting Over Going Under and discuss the Friedberg Method of Goldilocks Anesthesia with your doctor.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Getting Over Going Under? Absolutely—I wouldn’t have surgery without first reviewing its guidelines.