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Effect of Anesthesia on Our Body

Operations or surgery involve pain. To carry out the operation successfully, doctors administer anesthesia to patients. An anesthesia is a drug which reduces stress before the operation, relieves the pain caused by the operation and causes a temporary loss of memory of the operation.

How long does this altered state exist?

The duration of the effects of anesthesia depends on  the type of the drug used, its dosage and careful monitoring of several vital factors which directly influence its effectiveness.

There is a medical specialist to handle this crucial aspect of the operation. This person is called an anesthesiologist. His or her job is to administer the anesthetic drug, monitor the vital parameters of the patient’s body during surgery and ensure a successful recovery to consciousness at the end.

Different Stages of Anesthesia:

Stage Duration Physical Signs
Onset Giving Anesthesia to loss of consciousness Physical Signs
Excitement From loss of consciousness to loss of eyelid reflexes Irregular Heart beats and Breathing
Surgical Anesthesia Loss of eyelid reflexes to depression of vital functions Total Unconsciousness
Recovery or Danger Respiratory and circulatory failure No breathing and heart beat

General Anesthesia

Duration of the Stages of Anesthesia:
The choice of drugs plays an important role in the process of administering the anesthetic. Some drugs can reduce pain, some stress and others can bring on unconsciousness. A careful administration of these drugs together is imperative.
Today’s anesthetic drugs used in the initial stages of an operation can bring a state of total unconsciousness from the onset, in 10-20 seconds, without any requirement for the state of excitement. The effects of these drugs stay for 5 to 10 minutes. After this time, the patient may recover.

The patient breathes a mixture of carefully controlled volatile anesthetic gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. A mixture of medications can also be used depending on the requirements and state of the patient. The inhaled gases reach the patient’s brain via blood or the lungs and keep the patient unconscious for the duration of the surgery. This process stops only when the end of the surgery nears.

Recovery of consciousness after surgery depends on age, physical health, state of the patient in general and the response of the body to the anesthetic drugs. It usually takes nearly 30 minutes for the effects of the anesthetic drugs to fade away and for the patient to regain consciousness.

3 responses to Effect of Anesthesia on Our Body

  1. The word Anesthesia was coined by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. in 1846.

  2. I had a colon resection and removal of ovaries 4 weeks ago. I am wondering if the anxiety I have been experiencing since coming home is part of drug withdrawal from paid meds given at the hospital. I have always had anxiety and have been switched from Prozac to Paxil 3 days ago. I have also gone off valium which was used for 20+ years in small doses and there were some years I didn’t use it. The rolling of my stomach and the shakiness is really getting to me. My therapist says it’s because of the surgery and it will take time. I’m not sure. Any suggestions?

  3. Every patient is different and will require different doses, types of anesthesia, etc., and each person can react differently which is why they are closely monitored by the anesthesiologist during surgery.

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