General anesthesia is a treatment that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. When you receive these medications, you will not be aware of what is happening around you.
You will receive general anesthesia in a hospital or outpatient office. Most times, a doctor called an anesthesiologist will put you to sleep. Sometimes, a certified registered nurse anesthetist will take care of you.
The doctor will give you medication into your vein. You may be asked to breathe in (inhale) a special gas through a mask. Once you are asleep, the doctor may insert a tube into your windpipe (trachea) to help you breathe and protect your lungs.
You will be watched very closely while you are asleep. Your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored. The doctor or nurse taking care of you can change how deeply asleep you are during the surgery.
You will not move, feel any pain, or have any memories of the procedure because of this medicine.
General anesthesia is a safe way to stay asleep and pain-free during procedures that would:
You may also be able to have conscious sedation for your procedure, but sometimes it isnâ€™t enough to make you comfortable. Children may need general anesthesia for a medical or dental procedure to handle any pain or anxiety they may feel.
Sherwood ER, Williams CG, Prough DS. Anesthesiology principles, pain management, and conscious sedation. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 18.
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