Anesthesiology is defined as the medical practice, dedicated to relieving pain and to the complete and integral care of the surgical patient, before, during and after surgical procedures. As a vital component of the surgical team, the anesthesiologist is responsible for the well-being of the anesthetized patient during the surgical procedure. The anesthesiologist becomes the patient’s voice in the operating room, as well as having under his/her care the treatment of acute and chronic pain due to non-surgically related causes.
The types of anesthesia can be divided into three main categories: general, regional and local.
1. General Anesthesia: An unconscious state is produce by way of administering drugs intravenously or by inhalator or by both at the same time. General anesthesia pursues various objectives: analgesic or painkilling effect; protection against adverse reactions caused by pain; loss of consciousness by way of hypnotic or sleep inducing pharmaceuticals, which sedate the patient and prevent anxiety; Muscle relaxation by way of muscle relaxing pharmaceuticals that allow artificial ventilation by mechanical respirators that assure adequate oxygenation.
2. Regional Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia desensitizes a large area, like an arm, leg or the lower half of the body. The anesthesiologist injects the anesthesia near a group of nerves, in such a way that the patient does not feel pain. A sedative may be administered to reduce anxiety. An example is an epidural which is a type of regional anesthesia commonly used to prevent child birth pain; this anesthesia is injected in the lumbar region of the spine and causes the loss of sensibility of the lower half of the body.
3. Local Anesthesia: This form of anesthesia is used to desensitize only the part of the body that is in pain or that will undergo a surgical procedure. The patient is awake or conscious, but does not feel any pain. This anesthesia lasts for a very short period of time and is usually used for minor interventions or ambulatory procedures. Most of the time, a needle is used to inject the anesthetic under the skin or sometimes it is applied as a nasal aerosol or a gel.
- Dr. Bernal Cano José Jaime
- Dr. Montero Solano Eduardo Rodolfo
- Dr. Rojas Valle Armando
Translated by: Dr. Betsy Cervantes Coronado