Surgery without anesthesia is unimaginable. In earlier times, when there was no anesthesia, patients were either sedated with opium or alcohol to continue the surgery. A relief for the patients, thankfully with it patients can put their inhibition aside about surgery due to pain. Patients are administered appropriate quantity before surgery to numb the surgical area.
It is broadly classified into three variants and according to the surgery planned the right variant of anesthesia is opted for. The three variants are local, regional and general. We will talk about their usage later in this article and see which one qualifies when. The three prominent factors that decide which should be used are:
The type of surgery planned.
The duration of surgery.
Medical records of the patient.
What it does is either numb the surgical area or render patient unconscious so that they do not feel pain. For every surgery, there is a designated Anesthesiologist who makes sure that the right dosage is administered to the patient besides keeping a tab on the vital signs such as heartbeat, oxygen levels etc.
What are the types of anesthesia?
As mentioned above, the three prominent criteria to decide the right option for the patient are taken into consideration. Only then the anesthesiologist takes up the decision to administer anesthesia. The three types are:
1- Local: It is mainly used for minor injuries i.e. to stitch a wound on part of arm or leg. Local anesthesia is administered through injection or sprayed over the surgical part of the body. The patient does not become unconscious only does not feel pain in that part of the body.
2- Regional: Regional anesthesia is administered to numb a relatively larger part of the body. Suppose there is to be a surgery in the lower part of the body. With it, the patient goes numb from navel to his legs. So when the surgery is going on the patient does not feel anything. Along with regional anesthesia, sedatives are also given to the patients who are administered intravenously.
3- General: It is mainly used for surgeries which involve complicated medical procedures and a patient needs to be unconscious for a greater period of time. As the other two variants tend to numb the surgical area and the effect might fade away fast the patient might become uncomfortable during the surgery. General anesthesia renders patient unconscious and is either administered intravenously or with the help of breathing mask.
Only an anesthesiologist is designated to choose which one is right for the surgery in consultation with the physician.
What does an Anesthesiologist do?
Anesthesiologists are capable of handling any kind of complication that may arise during the surgery. Along with the assistance of the surgical team, they make sure that the patient goes through the surgery without any occurrence of surgical never events surgical never events.
The role of an anesthesiologist can be divided into three parts i.e. before the surgery, during and post surgery. While it is common to consider their task as only to put the patient to sleep it goes beyond that. An anesthesiologist not only administers anesthesia he/she actually for the entirety of the surgery make sure that the surgery goes without any complication.
Before the commencement of the surgery, an anesthesiologist examines the medical history and records of a patient undergoing surgery. This is done to evaluate the procedure and what kind of complication might arise during the surgery. It is the responsibility of an anesthesiologist to determine the right dosage and method to administer it.
During the surgery, the responsibility of an anesthesiologist is to monitor the vital body signs of the patient undergoing surgery. This includes monitoring pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and also respiration. The body position of the patient is also checked up by an anesthesiologist. In case the patient has been administered general anesthesia it is their duty to monitor the amount of carbon monoxide inhaled and exhaled by the patient.
Once the surgery is completed the anesthesiologists go on to back pedal the effect of anesthesia to render the patient conscious. The designated professional ensures that for recovery appropriate medication is there for the patient in ICU.
Anesthesia has made surgery possible minus any pain. With it, the surgeons are able to perform the surgery without any distractions from patient’s side and are able to focus on the task at hand. And for patients undergoing surgery, it provides relief from the surgery irrespective of the pain and the duration of the surgery.