Treatments & Therapies

Anesthesia – treatment, effects and risks


Narcosis is a form of anesthesia . General anesthesia is usually referred to as anesthesia or general anesthesia , a medical coma induced by medication to reduce perception during operations. Pain sensitivity and reflexes are suspended, thereby alleviating the patient’s suffering and disruptive muscle contractions. The anesthesia is carried out by a specialist in anesthesiology and a trained nurse.

What is an anaesthetic?

Anesthesia blocks signals that travel to the brain through the nervous system throughout the body Anesthesia prevents the brain from fully perceiving. The electrical and chemical signals are not processed by it. The anesthesiologist will select the most successful procedure for anesthesia by examining the individual medical history (any allergies ).

The type of drug administration can be of different nature, and a combination of several methods is also common. Approximately 45 minutes before the actual anesthesia, a preparatory medication is administered. This improves the circumstances of the later procedure. By inhalation, injection, oral or rectal administration, the drug enters the bloodstream and can develop its effect there.

Anesthesia is usually induced by injection or inhalation. The injection leads to faster success (20-30 seconds) and fewer complications can arise. However, sometimes circumstances call for inhalation.

Function, effect & goals

The complete anesthesia is accompanied by the performing anesthetist. He ensures that there is an adequate supply of medication throughout the operation and that the patient remains in a state of unconsciousness .At the same time, he checks the heart rate, the oxygen saturation in the blood, the blood pressure , the temperature and the CO2 emissions. The normal reflexes and functions of breathing are reduced throughout the process. Therefore, after the onset of unconsciousness, a breathing tube is inserted down the patient’s throat to ensure adequate oxygenation.

Medication of muscle blockers during certain operations can ensure that the anesthesia is not as deep. The blockers affect muscle responses and promote uninterrupted intervention by physicians.

After the first injection of anesthesia, the medication must be maintained, otherwise the patient will wake up from the coma on their own . This is done by means of a constant supply of a gas mixture through the lungs, or through additional injections through a cannula. After this supply stops, the level of nerve blockers in the brain slowly falls and the patient comes out of the anesthesia.

This process usually takes up to half an hour. Subsequently, the patient has partial amnesia and will not remember the course of the operation. In the first phase, there is often a slight physical tremor. A medication regimen to regulate postoperative pain should be implemented.

Risks & Dangers

Anesthesia has a number of common side effects. These are addressed in advance by the anesthetist, usually start shortly after the operation and do not last long. Up to 30 percent of patients complain of nausea and vomiting . This can last from a few hours to a day.

An equal number of patients freeze upon awakening from anesthesia and experience physical tremors . These effects should wear off after about 30 minutes. Confusion and memory loss is more common in older patients but should set in after a short time. A chest infection occurs occasionally after upper body surgery and leads to breathing problems and fever attacks .

Bladder problems can occur, women may have difficulty holding urine. Only about 1 percent experience mild nerve damage, resulting in deafness that can last up to a few weeks. As a result of the incubation, patients often feel an irritated lung or injuries in the interior of the mouth.

More serious consequences such as permanent nerve damage or serious allergic reactions to the anesthetic occur much less frequently (once in 10,000 anesthetics). Severe complications leading to death occur about once in 100,000 anesthesias. These complications are more likely when the patient is in poor physical health due to obesity , heavy smoking , other illnesses, or emergency surgery.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.