Concerned About Anesthesia? Ask Our Friendly Team
Anesthesia is a common aspect of many modern medical procedures. Unfortunately, there are numerous myths and misinformation surrounding anesthesia and its uses. GI Specialists of Georgia is here to clear up any misconceptions about the various types of anesthesia and give you peace of mind about your upcoming procedure. Whether you’ll need to be fast asleep or only partially numbed, our team can answer all of your questions. Our offices in the Atlanta, GA area have all the resources to ensure your procedure involving anesthesia is safe. We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions below. However, if you find yourself with more inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact our staff.
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia involves a mixture of several medications that cause patients to fall asleep. These medications help to ensure the brain doesn’t respond to any pain signals or reflexes, as you would if you were awake. Patients under general anesthesia won’t feel any pain or discomfort during their procedure and won’t remember anything after the fact. Not just any healthcare professional can give general anesthesia. This medication is typically administered by a doctor who has had specialized training in anesthesia and knows how to properly monitor body functions and breathing while you’re under anesthesia.
What is Local Anesthesia?
Unlike general anesthesia, patients aren’t fully unconscious after using local anesthesia. Rather, local anesthesia only aims to numb a specific part of the body affected by the operation. The anesthetic is only applied to a certain part of the body and significantly reduces pain throughout your procedure at GI Specialists of Georgia. In contrast to general anesthesia, this variety lasts a much shorter period of time. Hence, we only use local anesthesia for minor procedures in which you won’t need to stay with us overnight. Although local anesthesia won’t fully put you to sleep, it has been shown to greatly decrease patients’ stress levels while undergoing surgery.
How Do I Know Which Kind of Anesthesia I Need?
The question of local vs. general anesthesia will be decided by your doctor after consulting with you. Which form of anesthesia you need greatly depends on how invasive your surgery will be and how much pain it might cause. At GI Specialists of Georgia, we want you to be as comfortable as possible. We’ll always recommend the type of anesthesia that will allow you to feel the least discomfort and experience the fewest side effects.
How Do You Administer Anesthesia?
Many patients ask how general anesthesia is given. Depending on the type and strength of anesthesia, this answer varies. Most times, the team at GI Specialists of Georgia uses an intravenous line in your arm to deliver anesthesia medications. In other instances, we might opt for a gaseous anesthesia you breathe in through a mask. After you fall asleep, we place an oxygen tube into your mouth and down your windpipe. In this way, we make sure you’re getting enough oxygen throughout the procedure. Our team will continue to monitor your oxygen levels as your operation continues. We may also administer muscle relaxants to ensure the oxygen tube is undisturbed in your windpipe.
Is Anesthesia Safe?
General anesthesia is almost always safe for patients at GI Specialists of Georgia. Even if you have preexisting conditions, there’s a good chance anesthesia will still be a safe option for you. However, certain people may exhibit risk factors that make going under anesthesia more complicated. Conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or seizures can pose risks to your surgery, as can particular lifestyle choices such as smoking. Nevertheless, even if you exhibit one of these risk factors, be sure to talk to your Atlanta, GA doctor about if anesthesia is viable for you.
What Are the Side Effects of Anesthesia?
Although anesthesia is completely safe, it does come with some minor side effects. Most patients wake up feeling groggy, but that should subside quickly. After your procedure, you might experience other side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sore throat, itching, and muscle aches, among others. While these are not typically cause for concern, please feel free to contact GI Specialists of Georgia if you’re worried. Our team will put your fears to rest and take care of any complications that may arise.