Benefits and Risks of Anesthesia

Benefits and Risks of Anesthesia
April 20 12:43 2017 Print This Article

The purpose of anesthesia is to ensure the patient doesn’t experience pain during the surgery. There is general and local anesthesia. General anesthesia is used when the patient should be unconscious during the procedure while local anesthesia is used when the patient can remain awake during the procedure. If you’re thinking about undergoing anesthesia for a GI procedure, here is some information about the benefits and risks.

What Are the Benefits of Anesthesia?

When anesthesia is administered, the anesthesiologist is responsible for more than just ensuring that the patient does not feel pain. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for watching and monitoring the vitals of the patient, such as the respiratory rate. To ensure the safety of the patient throughout the surgery, the anesthesiologist will use high-tech equipment. The anesthesiologist will also select one method from a number of options to suit the needs of the patient. The performance of the anesthesiologist directly impacts the performance of the surgeon.

Before your operation, the anesthesiologist will want to know about any health issues that you have. Some examples of such health issues include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Additional drugs like antibiotics may be necessary to ensure these health issues don’t have an impact on the anesthesia. 

In the event that the patient needs a blood transfusion during the operation, the anesthesiologist will conduct the transfusion and support the patient while the surgeon will work on stopping the bleeding. If the patient experiences a heart attack or asthma attack during the surgery, the anesthesiologist will be responsible for starting treatment immediately.

Risks of Anesthesia

While anesthesia is very safe thanks to medical advancements, there are some risks that all patients should be aware of before undergoing a surgery with general or local GI anesthesia. Some of these risks include:

  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Skin bruising
  • Allergic reactions
  • Nerve damage
  • Asthma attacks
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Lung or kidney damage

In very rare cases, death or paralysis can occur as a result of general or local anesthesia. The chance that serious side effects like heart attacks and strokes will occur is incredibly low. However, the risks of anesthesia depend on the surgical operation and the types of health problems that a patient has. Patients meeting with an anesthesiologist should be honest about the health issues that they suffer from. 

Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Anesthesia

Anesthesiologists and supervised doctors training to become anesthesiologists administer anesthetics. In the vast majority of cases, the advantages of anesthesia outweigh the potential risks of anesthesia. However, at the end of the day, it is the patient who decides whether they want to receive anesthesia.

Undoubtedly, the vast majority of benefits stand to benefit immensely from anesthesia. For more information about the benefits and risks of GI anesthesia for patients undergoing GI procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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David Schantz
David Schantz

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