The medicine applies different kinds of anesthesia according to the type of surgical intervention. The goal of anesthesia is that the patient who undergoes a surgical procedure or invasive medical treatment that can generate some type of pain or discomfort does so without discomfort and with the greatest possible safety, thus facilitating the intervention of the healthcare professional.
Depending on the type of intervention, it will be necessary to apply a specific type of anesthesia. This is a decision that your doctor will make, although in certain cases it is possible to take into account the patient’s preferences.
The term anesthesia comes from the Greek (anesthesia) and its meaning comes to be that of “loss or absence of sensitivity”.
Different Types Of Anesthesia:
Different experts that are anesthesiologist, indicates that when choosing the right type of anesthesia for each specific case, the team of physicians will give priority to the safest and most comfortable anesthetic technique for the patient. “The doctors value the area to intervene, the expected duration of the operation, the patient’s illnesses, the treatments he takes, and the expected risks and also, of course, the patient’s preferences,” says by different experts.
“We must bear in mind that some people are afraid of the lack of control that general anesthesia supposes and they prefer to remain conscious during the intervention if possible. Others, on the other hand, will prefer not to know anything,”
It is not always feasible for the patient to choose the type of anesthesia, but if he expresses his concerns, the anesthesiologist will surely take them into account, since the anesthetic plan must be designed jointly between the professionals and the patient.
These are the types of anesthesia used in medicine and the cases in which they are used.
- General anesthesia:
It consists of the administration of drugs that produce the unconsciousness of the individual. During general anaesthesia the patient is not aware of their environment, does not feel pain and does not move when stimulated by surgery. The patient is so deeply asleep that he usually does not breathe normally, so it is usually necessary to breathe air into his lungs mechanically, through a respirator through a tube placed in the trachea (endotracheal tube) or through other devices ( like the laryngeal mask).
- Regional anesthesia
In this case, it is intended that an area of the body becomes insensitive to pain and unable to move.
Pain, like any other sensation, is a process that requires electrical stimuli to travel up through the nerves and spinal cord from the painful/injured area to the brain.
In the case of the movement of the muscles, the transmission of that electrical signal through the nerves and the marrow descends from the brain to the muscle.
With regional anesthesia, it is possible to interrupt these electrical signals in the nerves, so the patient does not feel pain or is able to move the anesthetized area. To achieve this, special drugs (local anesthetics) are used. These drugs are injected into the back (neuraxial anesthesia, which includes epidural and intradural anesthesia or spinal anesthesia), making it possible to anesthetize the lower half of the body.
In other cases, the local anesthetic is injected next to a nerve, which will only anesthetize the area of the body whose sensitivity travels to the brain through that nerve. This type of anesthesia is often used for surgery of the hand and arm, injecting the anesthetic at the level of the armpit.
- Local anesthesia
In the case of local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is injected directly into the tissues on which it is going to intervene (usually by the surgeon), leaving the area numb.
This technique is useful for usually simple interventions in small and superficial areas of the body (interventions in the dentist or removal of skin lesions, small superficial tumors, etc.)
In this case, drugs similar to those used in general anesthesia are administered, but in smaller doses. In this way, the patient is comfortable and calm.
The sedation can be superficial, seeking only to calm the anxiety and nervousness of the individual, but maintaining a level of awareness that allows him to collaborate, express his comfort, express his needs … In other cases, a deeper level of sedation is sought, in such a way that the patient stops being aware of the situation and has no memory of the intervention.
All these anesthetic techniques are not incompatible with each other. For example, a regional and general anesthesia can be performed at the same time (the patient will be completely anesthetized during the intervention, but upon awakening from surgery, the body area will be operated numb and with less pain during the postoperative period). Another common combination is to add sedation to the performance of regional anesthesia.