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It’s hard to believe that surgery existed well-before anesthesia. When you think about how painful, grueling, and traumatizing some procedures could be without the help of anesthesia, it’s easy to see why it would be regarded as one of the greatest medical inventions in history.

However, most not working in the medical field really have no idea what anesthesia is. Most don’t even realize that anesthesia comes in different forms! And while it’s understandable why they aren’t necessarily aware of anesthesia, it’s forms, and all of it’s functions, often times those people will be using anesthesia for surgery at some point in their life.

As a medical professional myself, it’s my duty to inform my patients the intricacies each medical procedure they will undergo in my care. And when I’m a patient, I always take it upon myself to do as much outside research as possible in addition to the information provided by my healthcare provider. No matter your procedure, we have a responsibility to our body and health to be as informed as possible about what we’re doing to it.

To help bring more clarity to the subject, I wanted to differentiate the forms of anesthesia in this blog posts to help everyone make the most informed decisions. This list excludes office-based anesthesia and instead spotlights the anesthesia used in performing surgical or diagnostic procedures.

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General Anesthesia

Using a combination of anesthetic medicines, patients are administered general anesthesia, or GA, through face mask inhalation or intravenously. This then causes the patient to become unconscious in a matter of seconds, and the administration of the medication is maintained throughout the duration of the procedure. This allows the patient to be completely unaware of and not feel pain.

Anesthesia is maintained throughout the procedure using any one or combination of the above methods of administration as well as using an endotracheal tube or laryngeal mask airway device. When you are under general anesthesia, your entire body is affected, as it suppresses a number of the body’s normal automatic functions, including–but not limited to–breathing, blood circulation, and muscle movements.

While under anesthesia, an anesthesia specialist will maintain the appropriate balance of medicines whilst simultaneously observing vital functions affected. Normal and short-term side effects for patients upon waking up include disorientation, confusion, and struggling to think clearly.


 

…stay tuned for part two, coming soon!