Anesthesia is widely used during surgery and other medical procedures to control pain, breathing, blood flow, and heart rate. Anesthesia may be used to relax you, to make you sleepy or forgetful during the procedure, or to render you unconscious during a surgical procedure.
Types of Anesthesia
There are three types of anesthesia, and the type used will vary depending on the type of surgery and the area in which the operation will take place. The different types of anesthesia are:
- Local. Local anesthesia is used to numb a small part of the body during minor procedures. The anesthesia is injected directly into the operation area in order to block or reduce pain. During this type of procedure, the patient usually remains awake, or may be given medication to help relax or sleep.
- Regional. This type of anesthesia is injected near major nerves or the spinal cord in order to block pain over a large area of the body. Peripheral nerve blocks are used during procedures on the limbs or the face, while epidural and spinal anesthesia are used to block pain to an entire region, such as the hips or the midsection.
- General. General anesthesia affects the whole body, including the brain. It is administered either intravenously or through breathing. Patients under general anesthesia feel no pain and are completely unaware throughout the entire surgery.
Risks of Anesthesia
Although rare, there are some risks and adverse effects of anesthesia. These risks vary in severity and depend on the type of anesthesia used as well as the physical health of the patient. Serious adverse reactions to anesthesia can cause illness, injury, or death, especially in patients with other medical conditions. Before undergoing surgery, it is important to thoroughly review your medical history with your doctor to ensure that you are not at an elevated risk for any adverse effects.
If you or a loved one has suffered illness, injury, or death because of adverse anesthesia side effects, contact the Iowa medical malpractice attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at 877-327-2600.