General Anesthesia. What Is It? Is It Safe?

March 11, 2014

As surgeons, we most often use general anesthesia to perform our procedures. General anesthesia is when the patient is rendered unconscious in order to ensure that they do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.  Even with advances in laparoscopic surgery, general anesthesia remains a very important part in our work, and for the average patient, is very safe.

There are, however, some considerations of general anesthesia that should be understood and addressed before the procedure.

  1. Those with allergies to certain drugs or who have had reactions to general anesthesia should be sure to let us know. While these are rare occurrences, they can be significant.
  2. Make sure you prepare properly for your anesthesia. You will need to fast – up to 10 hours – before surgery, during which time you will only be able to consume clear liquids or black coffee. Some medication may or may not be appropriate to take during this time.
  3. If you have sleep apnea, which is common in obese patients, it is extremely important that you tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist. Your breathing pattern will have to be monitored while under anesthesia.
  4. As you awake from general anesthesia you may feel sensations of confusion and physical feelings of nausea, sore throat and sometimes pain. While these are all normal, be sure to let your medical team know about any and all symptoms you are feeling.

General anesthesia is very useful because we are able to perform the procedure without the patient moving from any discomfort or restlessness. While patients do sometimes get nervous about the prospects of being rendered unconscious, with some planning and consideration, many of the risks of general anesthesia can be mitigated.

For any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak to us during one of your scheduled consultations or otherwise. We are always here to help you feel comfortable and informed about the procedure you will undergo.

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Advanced Surgical Associates is one of the first exclusively surgical groups practicing in Union County New Jersey. And that is just the first of many firsts for ASA. For over 40 years, we have pioneered breakthrough surgical patient care in North Jersey in both general and weight loss surgery. ASA also offers gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding to those suffering from obesity in New Jersey.
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