INDIANA HOSPITAL & HEART INSTITUTE, MANGALORE
DEPARTMENT OF ANAESTHESIA
KNOW YOUR DOCTORS
Every one of us during our life time will have to see a doctor a number of times, whether it is for fever/cold/cough or need admission for a major illness or a surgery.
We will definitely make an enquiry about the doctor or will contact our family physician/doctor before taking any decision. The doctor playing the vital role before, during and after the surgery is the ANAESTHESIOLOGIST.
WHAT ONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE ANAESTHESIA AND ANAESTHESIOLOGIST?
The word ANAESTHESIA is derived from Greek, meaning lack of sensation. This can be achieved by many ways.
A general anaesthetic renders you unconscious using a combination of drugs and a local anaesthetic blocks painful sensations from specific areas of the body. Methods include injecting local anaesthetic into the area being operated on, blocking nerves that detect sensation from an area, such as a finger or an arm and injecting local anaesthetic close to the spinal cord to block large areas of the body, such as the legs or lower abdomen. These are also known as regional blocks since these block specific areas of the body. These blocks are also used to provide pain relief following surgery.
These methods can also be combined to provide the safest anaesthesia, reduce the side effects and help the surgeons to carry out the procedure.
The anaesthesiologists main role is to ensure the safety of the patients undergoing operations, but you may come across them elsewhere in the hospital. They manage intensive care units, trauma care units, and emergency/casualty and are involved in resuscitation of patients. Anaesthesiologists also lead acute pain teams and run chronic pain clinics.
YOU AND YOUR ANAESTHESIOLOGIST
Before you are taken to operation theatre for an operation, an anaesthetist will visit you and take a detailed medical history. This will help the anaesthesiologist to identify any risk factors and discuss the most appropriate method of anaesthesia and pain management for you.
Sometimes, they may prescribe some drugs to reduce anxiety, fear, and nausea or may be specific to operation or medical condition you have.
Occasionally, the anaesthesiologist will have to decide if you are fit enough for the operation or if there are any treatments or investigations that would make your procedure safer.
After the operation, the anaesthesiologist will provide pain relief and makes sure you are stable before you go back to the ward.
HOW DOES ANAESTHESIA WORK
The ideal general anaesthetic causes a reversible loss of consciousness, keeps the patient still and reduces the body’s normal responses to unpleasant stimulation such as increased blood pressure and heart rate.
There are many different types of drugs and gasses to achieve this. The drugs used have most predictable, desirable effects and least unpleasant side effects.
Over the past three decades, advances in monitoring equipments, newer and safer drugs and better training and supervision by anaesthesiologists have led to major
improvements in patients safety.It`s difficult to exactly predict a person’s risk of dying from an anaesthetic but for young, fit people with no other medical diseases. This is between 1 in 1, 00,000 and 1 in 5, 00,000 will die from anaesthetic itself.
Other risk factors include:
- Type of operation – Those on heart, brain, lung and major surgeries on intestines carry higher risk.
- If the operation is being performed as an emergency.
- Pre existing disease – in heart patients, cancer etc,
- Patients age – extremes of age.
The anaesthetist will assess all these factors and advice on the most appropriate and safest anaesthetic for each patient and ensure that the patient returns home without any unpleasant memories of hospital stay.
Dr M.M.Chetana Anand DNB (Gen.Anaes), PDCC (CVT & Neuro)
Consultant Cardiac Anaesthesiologist
Indiana Hospital & Heart Institute
Mangalore – 575 002