Is it true that anesthesia is harmful to the body?
The term “anesthesia” is intimidating for many people. After all, it completely deprives a person of the ability to control himself. Perhaps that is why there are a lot of different rumors about him. Which of them is true, but what is a myth? And what is the harm of anesthesia?
What is anesthesia?
Anesthesia refers to the state of central nervous system inhibition, the main goal of which is to achieve analgesia. Doctors achieve this effect with the help of special drugs – anesthetics.
To understand the effect of anesthesia, you need to understand the mechanism of pain. Every millimeter of the human body contains pain receptors. It is they who catch any irritation. Received pain signals are transmitted from the nerve receptors to the spinal cord. And only then the information enters the main computer – the brain. After processing the received signals, the brain gives the command: “it hurts.” And a person really feels pain.
Anesthesia allows you to temporarily interrupt this chain. Thus, it blocks the transmission of impulses about pain. Before you consider what harm anesthesia can cause the body, you need to deal with varieties of anesthesia.
Types of Anesthesia
Do not confuse the concepts of “anesthesia” and “anesthesia”. In the first case, we are talking about disabling consciousness (the so-called general anesthesia). The term “anesthesia” includes all methods of analgesia using anesthetics.
With anesthesia, consciousness is completely turned off
Pulse interruption can occur in any area. Depending on this anesthesia may be:
Superficial. Local anesthetics are used, which cause blocking of pain receptors. Impulses are suppressed at the initial stage.
Local. In this case, the nerve that serves as an impulse transmitter is blocked. Local anesthesia involves the introduction of anesthetics at the site of the operation. The pain is interrupted in the initial part of the nerve.
Conductor. This anesthesia is very similar to local. But unlike her, the nerve is not blocked in the surgical area, but in any other area where access is most convenient. For example, during surgery on the arm, an anesthetic may be administered in the area of the clavicle. Such anesthesia requires high skill and accuracy from the doctor. If the needle goes directly into the nerve, it can cause serious damage. If the drug is administered far from the “conductor”, the necessary anesthesia will not be.
Epidural. The blocking of pain occurs at the level of the end of the nerve and its entry into the spinal cord. An anesthetic is injected into the epidural space – the area located between the lining of the brain and the spinal canal.
Common. Such anesthesia involves the inhibition of the functioning of the brain. Pulses go through the whole chain and enter the main computer. But the latter does not give a command about the pain. Therefore, the patient does not feel it.
What is more harmful for the body: general anesthesia or local anesthesia? The safest is considered superficial and local anesthesia.
More dangerous is the conductor. But this type of anesthesia is in demand only during operations on the limbs. It is followed by an epidural. It allows surgical intervention only on the lower body (in the abdominal cavity, on the legs). The largest number of risks associated with general anesthesia.
Harmful anesthesia for the body and common myths
It is reliable to say whether anesthesia is harmful to the human body or not, no anesthesiologist will undertake. After all, studies implying monitoring the patient throughout his later life have not been conducted. But at the same time, most anesthetists believe that anesthesia is most likely harmful.
During surgery, the condition of a person is completely controlled by instruments
However, do not confuse possible harm with many existing myths.
Awakening during surgery
The culprit of this myth was the acclaimed film “Anesthesia.” In it, the main character experienced severe pain during the operation, but could not wake up. In life, everything is somewhat different.
Before the operation, the anesthesiologist carefully calculates the necessary dose of anesthetic, taking into account the age, weight of the patient, his individual characteristics. If for some reason an error occurs at this stage, then devices that monitor the well-being of the operated person will allow to suspect something is wrong.
Monitoring includes monitoring the heart rate, oxygen saturation, pressure level. If the patient feels pain, then such indicators will let you know about it immediately.
Narcosis reduces life expectancy by 5 years
This myth always puzzles doctors. Scientific research in this area has not been conducted. Therefore, to argue that anesthesia reduces life expectancy, and even more categorically to state that for 5 years, is impossible.
If general anesthesia went smoothly, then harm to the body will be minimal. Although you should not forget that surgical interventions always serve as serious stress. Therefore, doctors try without special need not to resort to them.
What if I don’t wake up after anesthesia
There is such a risk. According to statistics, 250,000 operations account for one death.