During general anesthesia, anesthetic drugs are used to induce unconsciousness and/or an absence of pain. This allows surgical and medical procedures to be performed without pain.
Types of Anesthesia
Depending on the procedure, or the patient’s medical history, different types of anesthesia may be used:
- General Anesthesia: This is used when a patient should be unconscious. Depending on the patient’s medical history and situation, the anesthesiologist may use drugs delivered intravenously or gases that are inhaled. In all cases, the anesthesiologist will carefully monitor all vital signs and bodily functions, including the patient’s level of awareness.
- Regional Anesthesia: This is used to numb a specific part of the body. Spinal anesthetics, epidural anesthetics and nerve blocks fall into this category. While patients may be awake during the surgery, they are typically given a sedative to relax.
- Local Anesthesia: This is also used to numb a specific part of the body, usually through use of an injection. Patients are typically awake during procedures using a local anesthetic, although light sedation is sometimes used.
General anesthesia is very safe, and the anesthesiologists at Danbury Hospital have a strong safety record. The technology in this area is consistently improving, and patients today benefit from faster-acting anesthetics, improved safety standards, and better equipment available to monitor breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and brain activity during surgery. Unpleasant side effects are uncommon.
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