Anaesthesia and You


  1. GENERAL ANAESTHESIA: In this type of anaesthesia you are put to sleep initially by an intravenous medication or by administration of an inhalation anaesthetic via a mask held over the nose and mouth, or a combination of both. You will be unconscious during the entire surgery and the face mask may be replaced by an endotracheal tube, which is gently inserted through your mouth into the windpipe. At the end you will be given medications to regain consciousness. You will feel drowsy for a few hours, but will be asked to open your eyes, cough or clear your throat. You may also receive painkillers to ease the pain.

  2. LOCAL ANESTHESIA: Local anaesthesia only numbs a part of the body by giving an injection around the site of surgery and is generally used for simple procedures like suturing cuts on the skin, small biopsies and ear lobe repair.

  3. REGIONAL ANAESTHESIA: This type of anaesthesia only numbs a part of the body by giving a local anaesthetic near a group of nerves and is generally used for less complex procedures. It does not affect consciousness and medications are given to help you relax or sleep.
    It comprises of the following types:

    1. SPINAL ANAESTHESIA: The anaesthetic is injected into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord in the lower back. This numbs the entire lower half of the body or just one side depending upon the position given to the body, immediately after the injection.

    2. EPIDURAL ANAESTHESIA: This is a form of anaesthesia practiced in Obstetrics or for conducting painless deliveries. Here the anaesthetic is injected into the space just outside the spinal cord. Though blocking the pain signals from the lower half of the body, one is able to move the limbs and feel sensations such as pressure.

    3. NERVE BLOCKS: Here the anaesthetic is injected into a cluster of nerves to just numb a limb or a part of the limb. Like surgery on the hand or the finger.

    4. TOPICAL ANAESTHESIA: The local anaesthetic is applied to the eyes, throat, skin etc., as a spray, drops, cream or ointment. One feels numbness in the affected part almost immediately.

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