Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Breaking Down Your Fears and Myths of General Anesthesia

All too often I hear my patients say “but I’m afraid of general anesthesia

“But why?” I ask.

“I’m afraid that I won’t wake up”.

If a person believes everything they see on TV shows and moves, I suppose this fear would be justified. But the reality is that general anesthesia is very safe, and even safer than sedation alone.  When a patient has general anesthesia, they are completely asleep and do not feel any pain. The anesthesiologist is right there, breathing for them, giving them oxygen, watching their heart and making sure they are very, very comfortable.  That way, I can do my job by focusing on just the surgery!

When you have “twilight anesthesia” (which can mean many things), the anesthesiologist is not there. The surgeon asks the nurse in the room to give some medication through the IV to the patient to keep them relaxed but hopefully awake enough to breathe on their own. The surgeon has to monitor the patient and give orders to the nurse while performing the surgery. The patient is not completely asleep and should be able to talk to stimulation. Depending on the procedure that is being done, it may take a significant amount of IV pain medication and sedatives to keep the patient calm and comfortable—in most cases, MORE than what would be needed if the patient were completely asleep.

When surgery is performed with a patient under general anesthesia, there are 2 doctors in the room—the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.  Yes, it may cost a little more, but isn’t that worth it?

All of the surgery I (Dr. Bash) do is with a board certified anesthesiologist. When you are asleep, I am your voice. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I am right there beside you from the time you go to sleep until you wake up and we go to the recovery room together.

Reality—the risk of not waking up from anesthesia is very, very, very, very small during cosmetic surgery. Be safe.  Request a board certified anesthesiologist.

If you have any other questions or concerns about general anesthesia call Dr. Bash at 602-792-5789.

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