One of the biggest fears patients have when undergoing a surgical procedure is everything related to anesthesia. Imagine you have to undergo a major surgical intervention, but you’re afraid of anesthesia. You wonder if it’s safe, if it will harm your body.
Although anesthesia is administered by medical specialists who are trained to ensure the patient doesn’t experience any accidents, this medical technique is surrounded by many myths. Today, we want to tell you about 5 of them.
1. The anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia and then leaves the operating room.
False. The presence of the anesthesiologist in the operating room alongside the patient should be continuous throughout the time the patient is under anesthesia, whether it’s general, regional, or controlled local anesthesia. If the anesthesiologist needs to leave the operating room for any major reason, there will always be another anesthesiologist to replace them, who will take over the patient’s care.
2. General anesthesia can cause physiological problems or health complications.
False. Anesthesia itself generates physical changes in patients such as hypotension, depression of respiration, and heart rate, but these effects are controlled by the anesthesiologist during the procedure. They are not complications per se but rather effects of the anesthetics that can be controlled by a skilled healthcare professional.
3. I can become paralyzed after an epidural anesthesia.
False. The neuroaxial anesthesia technique has been established in medicine for over 100 years. Although serious complications leading to paralysis were discovered in its early days, nowadays it’s almost impossible for this complication to occur due to changes in techniques, protocols, and anesthetics. Severe complications can occur in 1 out of 320,000 patients, and when they occur, they usually resolve spontaneously.
4. Some people are resistant to anesthesia.
The term “resistance to anesthesia” is not described as such. What can happen is that since each patient is different in terms of their constitution and response to medication, some may require higher doses than others. So, if the standard dose established by weight is administered and the desired result is not achieved, the anesthesiologist may need to adjust the dosage.
5. The person remains under anesthesia and doesn't wake up.
Throughout the surgery, the patient is constantly monitored by the anesthesiologist who checks the vital signs minute by minute. This allows them to anticipate and resolve any incidents or problems related to anesthesia that may occur during the surgery.
Cases of death directly related to the anesthetic procedure occur in patients with advanced and complicated chronic conditions.
Despite the scientific and technological advances we have today, many of these myths and doubts still raise concerns among people undergoing anesthesia. It is essential to have experienced and trained professionals in the field. Also, take advantage of pre-surgery consultations to address any concerns you may have and approach the surgical procedure with less anxiety.