Millions of people undergo Surgery every year, and most of them have one thing in common – they will receive anesthesia. Anesthesia is a medicine used to prevent pain during Surgery. It can be given as a gas that you breathe in or as a shot.
Dr Brian Blick strongly recommends that you educate yourself on anesthesia and understand the risks involved before having any type of Surgery.
Types of Anesthesia
There are three main types of anesthesia – general, regional, and local. General anesthesia is when you are put to sleep for Surgery. Regional anesthesia numbs a large area of your body. Local anesthesia numbs a small area.
Surgery that Requires General Anesthesia
Some surgeries require general anesthesia because they would be too painful otherwise. These include surgeries on the: brain, heart, lungs, and abdomen (belly).
Risks of Anesthesia
All medicines have risks. The risks from anesthesia are low for healthy people having routine Surgery. But people who are sick or having emergency surgery may have more risk. Risks from anesthesia may include:
– Nausea and vomiting
– Allergic reactions
– Kidney problems
– Delirium (confusion after waking up)
– Bleeding inside the body
– High blood pressure
– Heart attack
You can lower your risk by:
- You are telling your anesthesiologist about all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Certain medicines may increase your risk for bleeding during Surgery.
- You are telling your anesthesiologist if you have any allergies, especially to latex.
- You are asking your anesthesiologist questions about the anesthesia plan for your Surgery. This will help you understand the risks and benefits based on your individual health condition.
How to ensure a safe and comfortable experience
There are a few things you can do to ensure a safe and comfortable experience:
– Choose an anesthesiologist who is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. This certification means that the anesthesiologist has completed specialized training and passed written and oral exams.
– Make sure the anesthesiologist knows about any allergies you have, as well as all the medicines you take (including over-the-counter medicines and supplements).
– Ask your anesthesiologist questions about the anesthesia plan for your Surgery. This will help you understand the risks and benefits based on your individual health condition.
– Follow all instructions from your anesthesiologist before Surgery, such as not eating or drinking
anything for a certain period of time.
– If you have any concerns after Surgery, contact your anesthesiologist.
How long does anesthesia last?
The effects of anesthesia can last for a few hours to a few days. You may feel tired and have trouble thinking clearly for the first day or two. It is important to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital. Do not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery, or make any major decisions during this time.
Conclusion: Talk to your doctor or anesthesiologist about any concerns you have about undergoing anesthesia. Be sure to disclose any medications you are taking, as well as any allergies you may have. Understanding the risks involved will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with Surgery.