It is a procedure to numb the area which needs to be operated during surgery with the help of chemicals known as anaesthetics. This method helps in reducing the pain and controlling vital processes like breathing, blood pressure, blood flow, heart rate etc. during surgery.
Types of anaesthesia
Local anaesthesia – this anaesthesia numbs a particular region of the body to perform minor surgeries. The patient remains conscious during the procedure as the effect of this anaesthetic is localized.
Regional anaesthesia – this anaesthesia affects a large section and therefore the patient is provided with sleeping or relaxing medicines. This includes
- Peripheral anaesthesia – It numbs a particular nerve or group of nerves to subside the pain. It is mainly used for surgeries of limbs and face.
- Epidural anaesthesia – It numbs spinal cord and nerves connected to it. It affects a large region of the body like the lower half of the body.
General anaesthesia – It affects the brain and the person becomes unconscious. The anaesthetic can be inhaled or injected into a vein in order to be administrated into the body.
Factors considered during anaesthesia
Medical History – it is very important to know if you or any other member of your family is allergic to certain chemicals which might be present in anaesthetics. Any allergy against the anaesthetic may cause serious reaction during the surgery.
Type of surgery – if the patient is going to be operated for some minor issue then local anaesthesia is used to do the work. In major surgeries like caesarean, regional anaesthesia is used to numb the lower body.
In critical surgeries like heart or brain surgeries, the patient is made unconscious by using general anaesthesia.
Test results – Your medical test reports also play a major role in deciding the type of anaesthesia used during the surgery.
Risks associated with anaesthesia
- With the use of general anaesthesia, the patient may experience heart problems, sore throat, vomiting or pneumonia.
- Local anaesthesia can affect brain and heart.
- A headache can occur after use of anaesthesia
- High dose of anaesthesia can cause paralysis of particular organ
Recovery after anaesthesia
The effect of anaesthesia is temporary and the patient can feel sensation in the anaesthesia treated region once the anaesthetic level wears off. The patient is then provided with pain killers to ease the pain after surgery.
Vital body functions of the patient are recorded at regular intervals. You may experience
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme cold
- Low muscle control
- Slight numbness in the affected area
- Pain in the affected region
In case of minor surgery, the patient takes few days to recover and need not to stay at the hospital. In case of major surgeries, the patient has been kept under observation for several weeks and discharged when recovered completely.