Is It Dangerous to Be Put Under Anesthesia?

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 03:11 AM

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Anesthesia is a medication that is administered to numb the body to pain occurring during surgeries and operations. You will be put under anesthesia during many common procedures such as tooth extraction, C-section delivery, and any invasive surgery.

Many people fear the very idea of being put under anesthesia. Some feel that they might never wake up after they are put under IV anesthesia, and others feel that it is dangerous and could have side effects such that the reactions could even be deadly. It would help if you are familiar with the basics of anesthesia.
 
You may be put under anesthesia in one of the following ways. Local anesthesia is administered to numb specific parts being operated, e.g., tooth extraction. Regional anesthesia is administered to a larger region of the body either as epidural or spinal anesthesia e.g., patellar/knee cap replacement surgery. General anesthesia is administered intravenously (IV anesthesia) or in the form of gas that makes the patient unconscious for a period of time e.g., open heart surgery. Sedation anesthesia is administered through sedatives given to remove any sensation of pain, stress, and anxiety when the medical procedure is performed. However, the patient will be able to communicate during the procedure but may have little memory of it later e.g., minor skin surgery, foot surgery.
 
Though tolerable and mild in most cases, IV anesthesia may have a few reactions and common side effects that you need to know, such as nausea and vomiting, poor coordination and judgment, lowered body temperature, dizziness, headache, sore throat, and itching. The risk of IV anesthesia reaction also depends on your health. Having other illnesses, being obese, and having smoking habit may increase the risk to develop complications.
Though being put under IV anesthesia could worry you, it really has very low risk involved. According to a study published by the Royal College of Anesthetists, severe reactions such as damage to the eyes or nerves or death are very rare and may occur in less than 1 in 100,000 cases.

How to ensure IV anesthesia is not dangerous to you? Make it a point to talk to your doctor and anesthesiology team regarding any doubts or fears you may have. Understand the basics of anesthesia and be clear about how you will be put under IV anesthesia, how you may feel, and what sort of a response is expected in you. Ensure you pass on your family details to your doctor, especially if any of your relatives have ever had a bad reaction to IV anesthesia, so that it can be investigated. Strictly follow your doctor’s orders regarding your diet plan before and after you are put under IV anesthesia.

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