Types of Anesthesia

If a person is to have a surgery or any other medical procedure which causes discomfort or pain, the doctor will give you an anesthetic drug. The medications significantly decrease pain or totally block it.

If a person is to have a surgery or any other medical procedure which causes discomfort or pain, the doctor will give you an anesthetic drug. The medications significantly decrease pain or totally block it.

Anesthesiologists select the type of anesthesia used to perform your procedure basing on some factors like the health history. The doctor will consider all the surgeries you might have had before. They will consider present and past health conditions, like lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Generally doctors ask whether you and your relatives have experienced an allergic response to anesthetics.

The medical professionals will also analyze the reasons for surgery and its type. Additionally, they will need the tests results, including electrocardiogram or blood tests.

Anesthesia is really effective if it produces minimum one of 4 effects: blocks pain, relaxes the body, makes you unconscious, forgetful and sleepy during the surgery.

There are four major types of anesthesia:

Local anesthesia is when only a particular body part is frozen. A patient will be alert and awake during the procedure.

Regional anesthesia stops pain in large body areas, including legs and arms. An anesthetic is usually injected in the areas surrounding the spinal cord or major nerves. The medicine works to help you sleep and relax.

Regional anesthesia falls into 2 major groups:

The first one is peripheral nerve blocks. Actually this regional anesthesia is in shots performed close to a nerve or nerve groups. Anesthesia removes pain coming from the nerves in a certain body part. Nerve blocks are used in the procedures carried out on the limbs (feet, legs, hands, arms) or face.

Spinal and epidural anesthesia can block pain in the whole body. As a matter of fact the anesthesia shot is performed near the spinal cord and nerves connected to it. In fact, epidural anesthesia is often used to relieve pain in the process of childbirth.

General anesthesia makes patients unconscious during the whole procedure. General anesthesia affects the whole body; a patient just falls asleep and cannot feel anything. There are many drugs used to perform general anesthesia. Some are vapors and gases inhaled through a tube or breathing mask, other general anesthetic medications are introduced intravenously.

Risks

Due to the constant progress in modern medicine, the risks of severe side effects caused by anesthesia are very rare. Actually there is always chance of complications. The doctor will watch the vital signs, including the heart rate and blood pressure, during the process of anesthesia and surgery to reduce the risks for complications.

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