Anaesthesia is a series of techniques which allow a surgical procedure to be performed pain and anxiety free. There are two main types of anaesthesia: general anaesthesia and locoregional anaesthesia.
General anaesthesia is a state which is comparable to a deep sleep, produced by the intravenous injection of drugs and/or by the inhaling of anaesthetic gases. This can be achieved using a sophisticated anaesthetic machine. Locoregional anaesthesia uses various techniques to ensure that only the part of your body in which the operation will be performed will be made painless. It works by blocking the nerves in this region after injecting a local anaesthetic around them. A general anaesthetic may be used in cases where the locoregional anaesthesia is insufficient or the procedure is major.
Risks and sequele of general anaesthetic
New techniques and new drugs have made nausea and vomiting upon awakening less common. Risks involving aspiration of vomit into the lungs are very rare as long as the patient stays nil by mouth as instructed prior to surgery. The introduction of a breathing tube into the trachea (intubation) or into the throat (laryngeal mask) to allow breathing during the anaesthesia can cause a sore throats or temporary hoarseness. There may be dental trauma in some cases and it is important that you tell us about any special dental appliances or pathology in your mouth. There can be a painful red blotch around the vein into which the drugs have been injected but this usually resolves within a few days. Lying on the operating table for a long time can cause minor compression in certain nerves which can lead to numbness or, in exceptional cases partial paralysis of an arm or a leg. In most cases, the numbness (parasthesia) resolves within a few days. Temporary amnesia or a decrease in the ability to concentrate can occur for a few hours after the anaesthesia. This is usually self limiting. Unforeseeable life-threatening complications such as a serious allergic reaction, heart failure, pulmonary embolus or asphyxia are extremely rare. (occuring in 1:250000 people)
Locoregional anaesthesia can be combined with deep sedation for maximum efficacy. It means that the tissues on which the operation is to be performed can be "numbed" locally by means of injections carried out by the surgeon and the patient is sedated using hypnotic type drugs administered intravenously. This form of anaesthesia is widely used in aesthetic surgery especially by Laclinic specialists due to its minimal risks and rapid patient recovery.
Any general or locoregional anaesthesia carried out for an elective procedure requires a pre-anaesthetic consultation and examination. This can be done the day before or a few hours before the anaesthesia depending upon hospital admission procedures and patient convenience. All our anaesthesia is performed by our qualified resident anaesthetist. During the consultation and examination, you are given a chance to ask any questions you may have. The choice of anaesthetic will be made on the basis of the scheduled procedure, your state of health and the results of any additional examinations which might have been requested.
Risks and complications of locoregional anaesthesia
There may be transient headaches after an epidural anaesthetic. Patients sometimes require several days rest or/and a specific local treatment e.g.. pain patches. Temporary paralysis of the bladder may require the temporary fitting of a urinary catheter. There may also be some pain and discomfort at the puncture point in the back. There may be temporary itching when morphine or its derivatives are used. Very rarely we see a decrease in auditory or visual acuity. Depending on the combinations of drugs used, there may be temporary amnesia or a decrease in the ability to concentrate for a few hours after the anaesthesia. More serious complications such as convulsions, heart failure, permanent paralysis or varying loss of sensation are extremely rare. Only a few cases have been described, whereas hundreds of thousands of anaesthetic operations of this type are carried out every year.