It eliminates pain , mainly by making you unconscious so that you will be asleep or as if you were asleep. This is accomplished by the administration of different anaesthetic agents whose pharmacological action not only allows us to perform the surgery but also keeps the patient's body stable during the operation.
Once you are asleep, a respirator will provide you with oxygen, together with anaesthetic agents that will keep you unconscious during surgery. This often requires that a tube be placed in your trachea to guarantee the passage of oxygen and the anaesthetic agents from the respirator into your lungs. This is called orotracheal intubation.
A specialist in Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation will monitor this process at all times and will maintain your vital functions normal with the help of different monitors (ECG, blood pressure). Towards the end of the operation, he or she will make any adjustments necessary to ensure that at the end of the operation you will wake up quickly and comfortably.
Like any other technique, general anaesthesia has its pros and cons.
- The former include the question of the comfort of the patient who, being unconscious, is not affected by the duration of the surgery or by any other factors that might cause discomfort or stress.
- The most noteworthy disadvantages include dryness of mouth, hoarseness, chills and a certain sensation of disorientation on waking up. However, all of them have little or no clinical importance. Nowadays, general anaesthesia is a highly safe procedure, and serious or very serious complications are rare.
The indications for general anaesthesia are very broad-ranging; indeed, any operation may be performed with this technique, although in certain cases the use of regional techniques may be preferable.