Types of anesthesia used during surgery

Victor LitvinenkoNews
The main types of anesthesia. Source: https://ru.freepik.com/author/wangxina

Anesthesia is a medical practice used to temporarily disable sensitivity to pain or other stimuli during medical procedures or surgical interventions. Anesthesia acts on the central nervous system, suppressing its functions so that the patient does not feel pain and is not conscious for a certain period of time.

There are several types of anesthesia, each of which is used depending on the type of medical procedure, surgical intervention, or other factors.

The main types of anesthesia:

General anesthesia (inhalation or intravenous) is the most common type of anesthesia that is widely used.

  • The patient is instructed to prepare for anesthesia, including temporarily stopping food and fluids before surgery.
  • Inhalation anesthesia (through the airways)
  • Inhalation anesthetics: the patient breathes substances with anesthetic properties. This is usually done through a laryngotracheal mask (LTM) or through intubation (insertion of a tube into the airway) if prolonged anesthesia is required. Examples of inhaled anesthetics include sevoflurane, isoflurane, desflurane, etc.
  • NB! "A laryngotracheal mask may be useful in situations where tracheal intubation is not appropriate or possible. This may include some surgical procedures, short-term anesthesia, and situations where patients cannot be effectively intubated. The decision on the method of anesthesia administration is always made by qualified medical personnel depending on the circumstances and the specific case."
  • Intravenous anesthesia (intravenous anesthesia)
  • Intravenous anesthetics: Injected directly into the patient's vein. This method is usually used for the initial administration of anesthetic and may be followed by inhaled anesthetics. Examples of intravenous anesthetics include propofol, fentanyl, thiopental, etc.
  • Throughout the procedure, the anesthesiologist maintains the state of anesthesia by adjusting the doses of anesthetics and providing a level of anesthesia sufficient to maintain painlessness and unconsciousness.
  • The patient is monitored throughout the procedure, controlling important indicators such as blood pressure, pulse rate, blood oxygen level, and other parameters.
  • After the procedure, the anesthesiologist gradually reduces the maintenance doses of anesthetics, allowing the patient to gradually regain consciousness.

Side effects of general anesthesia are possible:

  • After waking up, some patients may experience nausea and vomiting. This may be due to the use of anesthetics and other medications.
  • Some patients may experience temporary headaches after anesthesia. This may be caused by changes in pressure inside the skull.
  • Some patients may feel dizzy and weak for several hours after anesthesia.
  • After intubation (insertion of a tube into the airway), some patients may temporarily experience sore throat or larynx.
  • In rare cases, anesthesia can cause respiratory complications such as bronchospasm, atelectasis (collapsed lung), or pneumonia.
  • There may be allergic reactions to the medications or materials used, such as latex.
  • Some patients may experience muscle pain and discomfort after anesthesia.
  • It may take time to fully awaken from anesthesia, and drowsiness and disorientation may occur during this period.

It is important to note that most patients do not experience serious side effects from general anesthesia. Qualified medical personnel carefully assess the patient before anesthesia and take measures to minimize risks and ensure safety.

Local anesthesia

Local anesthesia is a method of anesthesia in which anesthetic is applied directly to a limited area of the body to block pain sensitivity in that area. This type of anesthesia allows the patient to remain conscious and is typically used for minor surgical procedures.

  • The anesthetic can be administered (e.g., lidocaine, bupivacaine, etc.) in the form of an injection, ointment, spray, or cream. It depends on the nature of the procedure and the specific circumstances.
  • An anesthetic blocks pain signals coming from nerve endings in the area to be treated. This can be achieved by blocking nerves at different levels, such as peripheral nerves or nerve bundles in a particular part of the body.
  • Unlike general anesthesia, local anesthesia does not affect the patient's consciousness. The patient can feel touch, but will not feel pain.
  • Local anesthesia can be used for various procedures: dentistry, minor surgery, removal of small tumors, and others.
  • The effect of local anesthesia is temporary, and its duration depends on the anesthetic chosen. Usually, it provides sufficient pain relief for a specific medical procedure.
  • Despite its relative safety, local anesthesia can cause some rare complications or allergic reactions, so the doctor should carefully interview and evaluate the patient before use.

Regional anesthesia

Regional anesthesia is a method of anesthesia in which an anesthetic is injected near a group of nerves or the spinal cord, which blocks sensitivity to pain in a specific area of the body. This type of anesthesia is commonly used to block pain in the limbs or other parts of the body while maintaining the patient's consciousness.

Types of regional anesthesia:

  • Epidural anesthesia
  • The anesthetic is injected into the epidural space, which is located outside the spinal canal but close to it.
  • Spinal anesthesia (direct anesthesia)
  • The anesthetic is injected into the spinal canal, blocking the nerves responsible for sensation in a certain area of the body.
  • Peripheral blocks
  • The anesthetic is injected close to the area, blocking the nerves that innervate the area.
  • The purpose of regional anesthesia
  • Blocking sensitivity in a specific area allows surgeons to perform procedures on the limbs or other parts of the body without pain for the patient.
  • Patient consciousness
  • Unlike general anesthesia, this type of anesthesia preserves the patient's consciousness, and the patient may be able to see, hear, and interact.

Regional anesthesia can be used for a wide range of procedures, including limb surgery, pelvic and abdominal surgery, and to facilitate childbirth. Regional anesthesia may have advantages over general anesthesia, such as a lower chance of lung and respiratory complications. However, as with any procedure, regional anesthesia can cause rare complications or allergic reactions, so it should be performed by qualified medical personnel.

Thechoice of method depends on various factors, including the type of surgery, the duration of the procedure, the patient's condition, the anesthesiologist's preference, and other clinical circumstances. A combination of different techniques can be used to achieve and maintain anesthesia throughout the surgical procedure.

It isimportant that this process is carried out by qualified medical personnel who can effectively monitor the patient's condition and maintain the level of anesthesia at the desired level.

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