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Anesthesia is the loss of awareness during different medicalprocedures mostly in order to prevent the patient from feeling pain but it canbe used to help the patient relax as well. Anesthesia can be local regional orgeneral.

Types of anesthesia

Local anesthesia is used during minor, uncomplicatedprocedures where the anesthetic is injected directly into the part of the bodythat is being operated on so that the pain is not felt. A person can choose tostay awake during such a procedure or put to sleep with the help of certaindrugs.

Regional anesthesia is inserted into an area of the bodyaround the spinal cord or major nerves because the pain which arises from theprocedures which require this type of anesthesia is likely to spread furtherthan the target of the surgery itself. There are two kinds of regionalanesthesia, and they are peripheral nerve blocks and epidural and spinalanesthesia. Peripheral nerve blocks are injected in areas of certain nerveswhich are connected to the part of the body that is being operated on. Theseprocedures are usually performed on hands, feet, arms, legs or face. Epiduraland spinal anesthesia are injected around the spinal cord and they control thepain from body areas such as hips, belly or whole legs.

General anesthesia is used to control the brain and also thewhole body. It can be injected into the vein or inhaled. When generalanesthesia is concerned, there is no choice whether to stay awake during theprocedure or not. It leaves the patient in deep induced sleep and completelyunaware of the surgery, sometimes even causing loss of memory related to thetime just after the procedure.

Which anesthetic will be used during the surgery depends onthe medical history type of the procedure and any previous reaction to acertain type of anesthesia.

Side effects of general anesthesia

General anesthesia has the biggest possibility for theoccurrence of side effects because it is the most intense kind of anesthesiawhich controls the entire body.

One of the complications is aspiration, or accidental reflexive sucking in of foods or fluids into the lungs. To prevent this from happening, atube is inserted into the throat during the operation and it is also advisablenot to eat or drink anything prior to it.

Another side effect is a change in the heart rate or bloodpressure which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Should this happen,revival equipment is always present during the procedure.

There is always a slight possibility that the person canwake up during the surgery, but this could only be due to the carelessness ofmedical professionals which is highly unlikely to happen.

Aside from these, sometimes anesthesia can provokeallergies.

Finally, any of these complications are extremely rare andthey almost never happen.

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