When we think of undergoing surgery, be it a minor or major one, the first things we associate with it is the anesthesia. What type anesthesia will they use (will it be general, spinal, regional, local, or inhalation anesthesia)? How will the anesthesia affect me and my consciousness? What if anesthesia wears off up during surgery? What happens after the surgery? These questions are commonly asked along with many other questions about the surgery.
Is anesthesia safe?
Anesthesia is a chemical that induces a loss of consciousness and reflexes to a person. For many centuries that this drug has been used, its safety has always been questionable, but the error or cause would not necessarily fall on the drug alone, but the anesthesiologist who titers the drug before, during, and after an operation.
General anesthesia is given either intravenously or through inhalation. The intravenous induces the effects of the anesthesia, and the inhalation maintains it throughout the procedure. Let us focus our attention to inhalation anesthetic.
This type of general anesthesia uses volatile gases that are delivered through a mask attached to a specialized machine. Common compounds that are used as inhalation anesthesia are desflurane, sevoflurane, and nitrous oxide. Of these three, nitrous oxide has the lightest sedation. In fact, the use of this anesthetic is called laughing gas, based on its effect on the patient while under its influence. It is also called conscious sedation.
Things to know about inhalation anesthetic
Each compound has different levels of sedation. Consult your surgeon to know more about which will be used on you.
Its side effects are generally manageable. You may experience cough, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, and chills. Inform your doctor these symptoms to keep him aware.
Not all inhalation anesthetic will keep you unconscious. As mentioned earlier, you will experience conscious sedation when your doctor uses nitrous oxide.