What You Should Know About Anesthesia


In the practice of medicine (especially surgery) and dentistry, anesthesia or anaesthesia is a temporary induced state with one or more of analgesia (relief from or prevention of pain), paralysis (muscle relaxation), amnesia (loss of memory), and unconsciousness. Anaesthesia was first performed publicly by an American dentist named William Thomas Green Morton in August 9, 1819 to July 15, 1868.

Types of Anaesthesia

1) Local Anesthesia

Image source: Open Care

Local anesthesia are usually performed on minor surgeries. It is usually administered by injection and the anesthesia normally takes effect quite quickly. Some patients may stay awake during the procedure.

2) Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia blocks pain to a larger part of your body. Some medicines are also included to help our body relax or sleep. Regional anesthesia are also categorized in 2 different types such as:

Peripheral nerve blocks - This is a shot of anaesthetics to block pain around a specific nerve or group of nerves. Blocks are often used for procedures on the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face.

Epidural and spinal anesthesia. This is a shot of anaesthetic near the spinal cord and the nerves that connect to it. It blocks pain from an entire region of the body, such as the belly, hips, or legs.

3) General anesthesia

General anesthesia affects your brain and the rest of your body. The anaesthetics are done through a vein (intravenously, or IV) or breathing in of the anaesthetics. In just a moment, the patient will feel unconscious and painless throughout the surgery.

Risks and complications of Anesthesia

With every procedures, there are bound to be risks and side effects. Although there aren't much major side effects and other problems associated with anesthesia, it is always best to be sure of the facts and the risks of it.

1) After general anesthesia heart problems, pneumonia, sore throat, or vomiting can occur.

2) High doses of local anesthesia may transcend to the rest of the body affecting the brain and heart

3) Spinal anesthesia may occur some headaches

Doctors have suggested that the risk depends highly on the patient's condition in terms of age, health and how they respond to the medicines used. Patient with health problems such as heart or lung disease may result in complication from anesthesia. Taking certain medicine, smoking and drinking alcohol can also increase the chance of problems. It is always best to talk to your doctor for the best option.

H/T: Webmd

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