A professional anesthetic technique is known as general anesthesia that promotes the elimination of pain while inducing muscle paralysis, amnesia, unconsciousness and suppression of reflexes. In other words, the anesthesia that affects the entire body causes the patient to not be able to feel or react to any environmental stimulus, which is why it is the most recommended and used method throughout the world for the performance of various surgeries considered of high complexity and of great size so that the person who undergoes surgical procedures does not suffer and, in turn, that the professionals can work correctly.
Despite the above, it is essential that the people in charge of providing anesthesia are fully trained and responsible professionals, since if incorrect levels are used, the patient may suffer different alterations; however, many people are still afraid of this technique. That is why in the following FastlyHealarticle, we detail everything about general anesthesia: postoperative complications.
General anesthesia procedures
Total anesthesia causes 4 phases known as: pre-medication, induction, support or maintenance and the final recovery phase .
The first phase is for the patient to arrive at the time of surgical treatment in a calm and relaxed way, so some type of analgesic that does not last long is usually administered , simply to help the person to enter the operating room calmly.
The second phase called induction is usually done with intravenous drugs. The most widely used at present is propofol, so that after this process, the patient becomes unconscious, that is, he enters deep sedation very quickly ; however, the person can still perceive the pain, so it is important that the anesthesia is even deeper to be able to carry out the process quietly in the operating room. For this reason, the anesthetist also administers a pain reliever such as fentanyl.
By that time, the patient is in significant sedation and is no longer able to feel pain or offer resistance in any muscle, allowing surgeons to work properly; however, all drugs are short-lived, so at some point they begin to lose effect and that is when the maintenance stage begins. During this phase, the patient will be given drugs intravenously or by inhalation so that the person remains relaxed and without feeling any type of pain.
At the beginning of the final stage of the surgery, the amount of drugs administered to stop the anesthesia begins to decrease when the procedure is completed. In case of excessive relaxation of the muscles, the specialist may provide drugs that act as antidotes. This is the last phase known as recovery and, in it, analgesics are administered to the patient so that he does not wake up feeling pain. When the person is fully conscious and with full control of the reflexes, they may not remember anything about what happened and the general anesthesia procedure will be over.
In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail what it feels like to have general anesthesia .
Possible sequelae and complications of general anesthesia
Many people have the idea that full anesthesia poses great risks to the patient; however, this is often more myth than reality. This is because complications from total anesthesia alone are very rare, mainly in patients who are in fairly good general health.
In a large number of the cases that present some risks during general anesthesia, the complications are linked to other serious pathologies that the person already suffered, for example, cardiac, renal, pulmonary or hepatic pathologies. Likewise, complications of the surgery itself may appear, such as the appearance of bleeding or injuries to vital organs.
Despite this, it is essential to emphasize that not all surgeries performed on patients with serious pathologies or those called difficult high-risk surgeries end with complications that can be tragic. Although, in the event that the result is the worst and ends with the death of the patient, it is very rarely the fault of the full anesthesia.
Although general anesthesia does not pose a risk in itself, it is true that it is a complex method that must be performed by highly experienced professionals in places that are suitable to perform them. On the other hand, the possibility of suffering complications from undergoing anesthesia may be related to the duration of its administration, so those people who take longer under anesthesia may notice the effects more, although it will also depend on the dose and the type of drug.
Taking into account that the risk of suffering any postoperative complication due to general anesthesia is low, of the registered cases, the most frequent secondary manifestations and complications are:
- Restlessness and insomnia .
- Feeling of being thirsty frequently.
- Intestinal gas .
- Nausea and vomiting
- Have high or low blood pressure.
- Hypoxia, that there is a low concentration of oxygen in the blood and an insufficiency of it in the tissues.
- Alterations in the level of glucose in the blood.
- Bronchospasm, that is, there is contraction of the muscles of the bronchi, which can prevent the correct passage of air into the lungs.
- Urinary retention or a temporary inability to completely empty the bladder.
- Reaction to anesthesia, reactions can vary from person to person and may cause dizziness, rashes, rapid heart rate, changes in blood pressure, high fever, confusion, wheezing, and even death from allergies.
Complications after surgery
After a major surgical procedure, some complications are possible. Although the alterations that appear depend on the condition of each person, there are some frequent situations in many patients. Among the most common complications are:
- Shock: it is known as the dangerous reduction in blood flow that circulates through the body and its main cause is a very high pressure spike.
- Hemorrhage: This is the rapid loss of large amounts of blood and can occur during surgery, which can also cause shock.
- Wound infection: When various microorganisms such as bacteria enter the wound during surgery, a large infection can occur later. This can considerably slow down the healing process and can spread to various tissues and organs, so it is important to control it in time.
- Pulmonary complications: complications in the lungs could occur due to the lack of deep breathing that occurs during the first days after the surgical process. This is because there may be certain difficulties in breathing normally due to the discomfort that the patient may have after surgery, so the professional may offer some breathing exercises to perform frequently.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.