How to Prepare for Anesthesia

What Is Anesthesia?

If you need to have surgery for any reason, then an anesthesiologist will administer pain-relieving medication with gas, injections or an intravenous procedure. The primary goal of anesthesia is to prevent pain and movement, making it easier for a surgeon or a dentist to work. Some types of anesthesia will sedate you slightly so that you are awake but will remain still without any pain. However, for major surgeries, you are given medication that makes you sleep while also preventing any discomfort. It is essential to remain unconscious during the surgery to avoid any problems, and also, the anesthesia will paralyze your body to prevent any movements that could lead to difficulties for the surgeon. With anesthesia, you also won’t experience any mental trauma while the surgeon operates on your body. You will likely have no memory of anything that occurs immediately before, during or right after you are given the anesthesia for the surgery.

How to Prepare for Anesthesia

If you have a planned surgery, then you will receive information about how to prepare for the anesthesia. First, you will need to stop eating anything for several hours before a procedure. Many surgeons schedule a procedure early in the morning so that they will know that your stomach is empty. The anesthesiologist will have fewer complications when your body is not trying to digest any food. It is a good idea to discuss other health conditions with the anesthesiologist, including if you are taking any medications. When you have a chronic health problem, such as diabetes mellitus, asthma or cardiovascular disease, the professional medical staff must monitor you carefully.

What Does It Feel Like to Receive Anesthesia?

For dental surgery, you will sit in a chair that leans back while the dentist works on your teeth and gums. The anesthesia used by a dentist is usually a type of gas that helps you to relax, but the dentist will also inject a numbing substance into your gum tissue. When you are in a medical facility, such as a hospital, you will recline on a surgical table, and the health care workers will prepare you for the procedure. The anesthesiologist will place a mask over your face so that you can breathe the special gas that is in a tank. During the surgery, you will likely also have an intravenous drip that provides fluids to prevent dehydration. Many patients have a tube inserted into their throat to prevent choking or aspirating any fluids from the stomach. You are monitored carefully by the anesthesiologist to determine if you are having any respiratory issues or to see if you are waking up during a procedure. There are four stages of anesthesia, including:

• Numbness

• Losing consciousness

• Surgical anesthesia

• Reduction in your breathing rate

How Will You Feel After the Surgery Is Over?

After surgery, the surgeon and anesthesiologist will watch you closely for any complications from the anesthesia. Each patient has a different experience after waking up from the anesthesia, including:

• Depression

• Nausea

• Chills

• Confusion

• Vomiting

• Fatigue

• Dry mouth

• Aching muscles

• Sore throat

The anesthesia may wear off naturally, or the anesthesiologist may give you additional medications to make you more alert. Some patients overcome the effects of anesthesia rapidly while others have adverse side effects for several days. It can take as long as a week to eliminate the anesthesia from your body. As the anesthesia wears off, you will begin to feel pain from your incisions and the other treatments that were used during the surgery. Physicians, nurses and the anesthesiologist can administer medications to alleviate your discomfort. Thousands of patients receive anesthesia in medical facilities for minor to major operations, and the use of substances to help you sleep is vital for a procedure. The risks from having anesthesia administered to you are very low, so you don’t need to worry about this medical treatment.

About the author

David van der Ende is a full-time blogger and part-time graphic design enthusiast. He loves to write about a broad range of topics, but his professional background in both legal and finance drives him to write on these two subjects most frequently.