Before the operation, an anesthesiologist must be consulted!
Anesthesia methods and their use
Anesthesia during examinations and surgical interventions can be carried out in various ways or their combination.
General Anesthesia (narcosis)
Anesthesia is a state of deep sleep that begins after injections of a fast-acting sleeping substance and pain medication (drugs).
This may be preceded by an injection of a sedative substance (sedation). This state of deep sleep is maintained by the anesthetist during the entire operation (manipulation). At this time, consciousness is turned off and the body’s sensitivity to pain is reduced.
During surgical interventions, various means can be used: quite often, an injection of a substance for anesthesia in a vein is enough to perform surgery.
For prolonged and complex interventions, such remedy is used:
During anesthesia, the anesthesiologist constantly monitors the vital functions of the body: blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, oxygen saturation, etc., monitor the depth of anesthesia.
At the end of the surgery, the introduction of anesthesia drugs stops and you wake up in the operating room, with the feeling like after a deep sleep.
In cases of prolonged and / or complex surgical interventions, awakening can take place already in the ward of postoperative observation. After waking up in the operating room, you will be in the recovery room for some time, from where you will be transferred to the hospital ward after your full recovery.
Under certain conditions (volumetric and prolonged surgical interventions, severe preoperative general condition, the presence of serious concomitant pathology, possible complications during the operation, etc.) you will need treatment in the intensive care unit with continuous monitoring of the main systems and functions of the body.
Before surgery, you will be informed in detail about the possible options for the course of the postoperative period.
Local and regional anesthesia
In some cases (small, superficial interventions), the elimination of pain sensitivity in the area of surgical intervention is enough – this is local anesthesia. An anesthetic (local anesthetic) is used, which is injected directly into the area of surgical intervention.
In the case of regional anesthesia, an anesthetic is administered outside the area of surgical intervention, next to the nerve, which is responsible for pain in the area of operation. In this case, the pain sensation is blocked both for the entire duration of the operation and for a certain postoperative period. You remain conscious and can talk, but do not feel pain during surgery.
Safety and risks
Thanks to exact planning of anesthesia, the use of the most modern methods of anesthesia, constant monitoring during the operation by a doctor – anesthesiologist of vital signs, in most cases, the anesthesia process is completely safe. However, there are some factors (severe general condition of the patient, large volume of surgical intervention, emergency surgery, concomitant diseases, age of the patient, etc.) that can significantly affect the outcome of treatment or even lead to a condition that threatens the patient’s life. Therefore, one of the main tasks of the anesthetist is not only the early detection and elimination of such conditions, but also the prevention of their occurrence.
You can be sure that in each case an individual approach will be applied to minimize possible risks.
Side effects and complications
There may be subcutaneous hemorrhage at the injection sites or discomfort that goes away after a while or is easily amenable to therapy. Injection sites can cause inflammation, which, in most cases, are easily eliminated. In extremely rare cases, against the background of reduced immunity, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and lead to a septic state, which requires intensive treatment. There is a low probability of infection with the hepatitis virus, human immunodeficiency, herpes, etc. during the use of blood products.
Damage to nerve trunks with impaired function of sensitivity and movements is quite rare due to prolonged forced position of the patient in a stationary state during surgery, usually, these complications are temporary and do not require specific therapy.
Sickness and vomiting may occur as an individual reaction to narcotic drugs (opioids).
At the same time, there is a danger of the contents of the stomach getting into the respiratory tract, with the possible development of respiratory failure, pneumonia. The risk increases if the patient took alcohol and smoked the day before.
Sometimes individual allergic reactions occur with increased sensitivity to medications, which may be accompanied by itching, rash, sickness, etc. In most cases, such reactions go away on their own or are easily treatable.
Severe allergic reactions are rare enough with swelling of the mucous membrane of the larynx and bronchi, respiratory failure and convulsions, cardiac failure and blood circulation. Such complications require intensive treatment and may be accompanied by a violation of the brain, various internal organs and systems (acute renal failure, arterial hypotension, pulmonary oedema, etc.).
A special place is occupied by complications associated with the formation of blood clots in the middle of the vessels, which can clog them and lead to thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, etc.
In case of blood coagulation disorders (as a result of a disease or taking drugs that prevent thrombosis), there is a risk of bleeding. Rarely, that respiratory arrest, heart failure, blood circulation, impaired consciousness up to a coma, or a sharp increase in temperature (malignant hyperthermia) develop as a reaction to the use of narcotic drugs and other medicines.
When using local/regional anesthesia techniques, the following symptoms may occur:
– numbness, weakness, restoration of pain in the anesthesia zone;
– post-puncture headache;
– insufficient block during regional anesthesia (may require changes in anesthetic management – conversion to general anesthesia);
– epidural hematoma;
– chronic pain;
– anxiety during regional anesthesia;
– erectile dysfunction, priapism.
When using general anesthesia techniques, the following symptoms may occur:
– unpleasant sensations when swallowing, hoarseness, slight sore throat due to the introduction of an endotracheal tube or a laryngeal mask that quickly pass and usually do not require specific treatment;
– during intubation (insertion of the endotracheal tube), damage to teeth and dentures is possible and even their loss. This is especially true for damaged, untreated and rickety teeth;
– damage to the nose, lips, vocal ligaments, eyes;
– unpredictable recovery of elements of consciousness during anesthesia;
– cognitive impairment, memory impairment, amnesia;
Preparing for pain relief
Any anesthesia is performed on an empty stomach. In case that there were no other appointments, you should not eat, drink, chew gum, suck candy or smoke from 00.00 hours, or at least 6 hours before surgery. Medicines that you take constantly can be taken only by agreement with your doctor.
You should inform your doctor about the use of dentures (dental plaques, braces), glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, jewellery and wigs and leave them in the ward. In some cases (for example, a hearing aid), the doctor may ask you to keep it with you during the operation. It is forbidden to use any cosmetics, apply nail polish, use nail overlays. During the surgical intervention, everything possible will be done so that you can transfer it easily and painlessly. Anesthetist constantly monitors your condition.
What to expect after applying pain relief?
At the end of general anesthesia (narcosis), pay attention to the following:
If after anesthesia you feel breathlessness, pain in the heart, giddiness, cramping in the throat after anesthesia, inform your doctor about these symptoms.
It is normal if after general anesthesia you will feel sluggish and sleepy. This condition, depending on the type of anesthesia, the volume of surgical intervention, individual characteristics, can last up to several hours and does not give cause to excitement.
Usually, you can start drinking and eating in small portions no earlier than 2 hours after the end of the operation, but in each case, as directed by the doctor, this time may vary. It is necessary to consult your doctor before taking any food or drink. Smoking and drinking alcohol during the first 24 hours after anesthesia is prohibited.