Anesthesiology: Anaesthesia Types & Procedure | Narayana Health


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What does an anesthesiologist do?

Anesthesiologists provide pain relief from ongoing conditions like cancer or chronic pain. They work in operating rooms and help control pain during and after your surgical procedure and treatment. They are specialists who provide medicines and care to prevent you from experiencing intense pain; if it’s necessary, they will induce sleep during a surgical procedure. Before surgery, the anesthesiologist will meet the patient and evaluate their medical condition, and this will allow them to create a plan for the surgery and also take into account the various needs of the patient. After the surgery, they will be responsible for the patient’s care while reversing the effects of anesthesia. They also ensure that the patient is comfortable while recovering from surgery.

What are the types of Anesthesia?

General Anesthesia- Is used for major surgeries like knee replacements and open heart surgeries. It can cause the patient to lose consciousness.

Monitored Sedation- This form of Anesthesia is usually used for minimally invasive procedures like colonoscopies, and the sedation levels can range from being slightly drowsy to complete unconsciousness.

Regional Anesthesia- This is usually used during childbirth and localized surgeries that are limited to a certain body part like the leg, arm, or abdomen. The affected body part will be numbed, and the patient will be unaware of the pain.

Local Anesthesia- Local anesthesia is given for minor procedures like receiving stitches or extracting a mole. The procedure includes numbing a small area while the patient is awake and alert.

How is anesthesia administered?

General anesthesia tends to relax the muscles present in your airway and digestive tract, and this will prevent any acid or food from passing into your stomach or lungs. The patient has to avoid any food or drink before surgery, as instructed by the doctor. The anesthesia is delivered through an intravenous line in your arm. Sometimes the anesthesia is delivered through a gas mask. Once you’re unconscious, the anesthesiologist will insert a tube down your throat, which will ensure that you receive enough oxygen, and your lungs are protected from blood and fluids. You’ll be provided with muscle relaxants, pre-surgery, to relax the muscles in the windpipe. The anesthesiologist will adjust your medication, breathing, fluids, blood pressure, and temperature, if necessary.

What are the four stages of administering anesthesia?

Stage 1: The induction phase occurs when the drug is administered, and the patient begins to lose consciousness. The patient is currently in the analgesia with the amnesia stage.

Stage 2: This is known as the excitement stage, which comes after the loss of consciousness. It’s characterized by delirious activity. The heart and breathing rate is erratic, and symptoms like nausea, pupil dilation, and breath-holding may take place.

Stage 3- Surgical anesthesia helps muscles relax and slows down breathing, the eye movements are slowed down and eventually stop. This means that the patient is ready to be operated on.

Stage 4- The overdose stage only occurs if the medication is administered excessively, and it can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory collapse.

What are the side effects of general anesthesia?

Some patients may experience side effects, while others don’t. Side effects for general anesthesia include-
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion and temporary memory loss, this is common for senior citizens
  • Bruising from the IV drip
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Sore throat because of the breathing tube
The side effects are not long-lasting and will mostly occur right after the anesthesia begins to wear off.

What can I expect after my surgery on anesthesia?

Once the surgery is complete, the anesthesiologist will reverse the medication, and you will begin to regain consciousness, but you won’t be wide awake. The patient will be shifted to a recovery room, and the physician will monitor your vitals. It’s OK to sleep if your vitals are fine, and you don’t experience any severe side effects. It’s likely that you will feel sleepy in the first 24 hours after surgery, and it will take some time for your reflexes and judgment to come back to normal.