Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Zoey Sky
Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine that is focused on pain relief in the perioperative period, or before, during, or after a surgical procedure. The drugs administered are called anesthesia, and the doctor who is trained in this specialty is called an anesthesiologist.
Anesthesiologists can offer the following types of pain relief during surgery:
- General anesthesia — The patient is “put to sleep” during the operation.
- Sedation — Intravenous drugs are used to calm the patient down or make them unaware of the procedure.
- Regional anesthesia — Local anesthetic is injected near the nerves to numb the area that will be operated on.
Known side effects of anesthesiology
While general anesthesia is very safe, it is the surgical procedure itself that is risky. Do take note that the elderly and patients undergoing lengthy procedures are at risk of the negative side effects of anesthesiology. These can include postoperative confusion, heart attack, pneumonia, and stroke.
Some specific conditions that can increase the risk to the patient undergoing general anesthetic include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, or a condition where individuals stop breathing while asleep
- Existing heart, kidney, or lung conditions
- High blood pressure
- History of reactions to anesthesia
- Medications that can increase bleeding (e.g. aspirin)
- Drug allergies
Death due to general anesthetic does occur, but only very rarely, or roughly one in every 100,000 to 200,000.
Body systems harmed by anesthesiology
Anesthesiology, specifically ether anesthesia, often cause the following:
- Organ symptoms — Ether anesthetics are hard on the body organs, primarily because ether is toxic in nature. Ether affects the liver and kidneys, and it often causes increased blood sugar and falling blood pressure.
- Death — Ether anesthetic also causes death, especially when patients receive accidental overdoses of ether during the course of medical treatment. One of the dangers of ether anesthetic is it can bring patients “so close to death” when administering the drug. Patients emerge from anesthetic in a mental stupor, and could be difficult to awaken.
Food items or nutrients that may prevent the side effects of anesthesiology
These foods and nutrients can help ease the side effects of anesthesia:
- Milk thistle — Also known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle aides the body’s detoxification process by preventing the depletion of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in the liver.
- An anesthesia-recovery diet — Follow a diet that is free of saturated fats like meat and dairy (substitute whey protein powder instead), refined sugar, and alcohol. Consume foods rich in dietary fiber and sulfur, which helps the liver clear toxins (e.g. garlic, onions, and egg yolks).
- Water — Drink lots of water to make it easier for your body to flush out the toxins.
Treatments, management plans for anesthesiology
The following treatments and management plans can help address the side effects of anesthesia:
- Benzodiazepines — for seizure control. Propofol can be used to control seizures but has the risk of potentiating cardiovascular toxicity.
- Intravenous (IV) infusion of lipid emulsions — can reverse the cardiac and neurologic effects of local-anesthetic toxicity.
- Diphenhydramine — can be used for allergic or hematologic reactions to local anesthetics. For more serious reactions, epinephrine or corticosteroids can be administered.
Where to learn more
Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine that is focused on pain relief in the perioperative period, or before, during, or after a surgical procedure.
While general anesthesia is very safe, it is the surgical procedure itself that is risky. The negative side effects of anesthesiology can include postoperative confusion, heart attack, pneumonia, and stroke.