What is Anaesthesia? Its Types and How It Works

Meaning of Anaesthesia: Anesthesia is a state of numbness experienced by patients when medical professionals sedate them in order to keep them from experiencing intense pain during a medical procedure.

The sensation of anaesthesia induced depends on the medical procedure that the patient is undergoing. It could either be limited to numbing a small area of the body or making the patient completely unconscious (asleep), in case the surgical procedures is extremely invasive. 

How do anaesthetics work in a patient?

The Nervous system in the human body is divided into two categories, namely, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of nerves whose signals are blocked by the anaesthetics. This blockage of nervous signals by the administration of an anaesthetic results in a temporary state of numbness inside the body. 

Who is allowed to induce anaesthesia?

The doctors who induce anaesthesia into a patient’s body are known as anaesthesiologists, and they do so by administering patients with the class of drugs known as “anaesthetics”. 

While this is usually the case, often when anesthesia only needs to be induced in a small and limited region of the body, for example the numbing of the mouth for a dental procedure, anaesthesia can be induced by a doctor who doesn’t specialize in it. But in most of the cases, a physician anaesthesiologist, or a trainee like a certified registered nurse anaesthetist (CRNA), or a certified anaesthesiologist assistant (CAA) is responsible for administering the anaesthetic. 

 What are the types of anaesthesia?

Anaesthesia is categorised into the following types:

1. General anaesthesia – This type of anaesthesia makes the patient unconscious as it numbs the entire body. It is mostly given intravenously to block the sensations of nerves to numb the pain and relax the body’s muscles. Typically, the effects of a general anaesthesia depend on the amount administered, it can either make the patient dizzy or make them completely unconscious. Occasionally a general anaesthesia can result in nausea, for that separate medications are also prescribed. 

Watch the related video


2. Local anaesthesia – This type of anaesthesia only effects a small region of the human body. The anaesthetics that induce local anaesthesia are generally used in surgeries like cataract, dental treatment, or skin procedures. It should be noted that only the affected body part is numbed, the rest of the body is unaffected, which means the patient is awake during the treatment. Such anaesthetics can be applied topically on the concerned area or injected intravenously. It can also be used alongside with sedation, which is induced by another type of anaesthesia. Additionally, many surgeons also prescribe local anaesthetics to provide relief from pain during the recovery period of the patients. 

Watch the related video


3. Regional Anaesthesia: This type of anaesthesia blocks the sensation of pain over a larger region than local anaesthesia like forelimbs, hindlimbs, and the chest region. The patient remains awake even after the administration of a regional anaesthetic. Epidural and spinal anesthesia are common examples of regional anaesthesia. Sedation is often practised with regional anaesthesia to allow patients to stay calm during the surgical treatment in case pain becomes a little too intense. 


4. Sedation: Sedation is a type of monitored anaesthesia which allows the doctors to make the patient fall asleep naturally, but also allows them to awaken the patient according to their convenience. The drugs which induce sedation are given intravenously, making the patient feel drowsy and dizzy. Often, mild sedatives are administered in the patients undergoing eye surgeriesn so that they can stay awake throughout the surgery and respond to the doctor’s instructions. Moderate sedatives are given to relax the patient to an extended level, but awaken easily. Deep sedation is quite similar to general anesthesia, as it makes the patient fall into a deep sleep. Deep sedation is practised in surgeries like endoscopy and colonoscopy. 

What is Anaesthesia? Types of Anesthesia

Types of Anesthesia

How is anaesthesia administered?

As the surgeon suggests in accordance with the surgery, anaesthesia can be administered in the following way:

  • Applied over the skin in the form of spray or cream.
  • Inhaled through the nasal cavity in the form of gas.
  • Injectable shots or intravenous syringes. 

How should I prepare for anaesthesia?

The patient must always be prepared before the administration of anaesthesia and must ensure the following precautions in order to reduce the risk of any complications:

  • Avoid food and drinks for eight hours before you go to the hospital unless directed otherwise.
  • Quit smoking, even if it’s just for one day before the procedure, to improve your heart and lung health. The most beneficial effects are seen when the patient stops smoking two weeks before the procedure.
  • Stop the consumption of alcohol for one to two weeks before the procedure as directed by your doctor.

What happens during anaesthesia?

Firstly, the surgeon administers anesthesia into the body with respect to the type of surgery. The surgeon then maintains vital signs like blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate. After the surgery, a post-surgical procedure is done.

What should I do after getting anaesthesia?

The patients who only undergo local anaesthesia can be advised to return to work. Others who undergo regional, general, or sedation are advised to take the following precautions after their procedure:

  • Let someone else drive home. 
  • Take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day.
  • Do not run any kind of equipment for 24 hours.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Only consume medications prescribed by the doctor.
  • Avoid making any important decisions for 24 hours. 

What are the side effects of anaesthesia?

In most cases, the side effects of anaesthesia will subside within 24 hours, depending upon the type of anaesthesia administered. Though a patient may feel the following side effects from the anaesthetics:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache.
  • Itching.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain and contusions.
  • Sore throat 
  • Body pain or muscle pain.

Why should you get your surgeries done at Divine Cosmetic Surgery only?

At Divine Cosmetic Surgery, we go above and beyond to provide our patients with the best quality anaesthetics. We understand how complicated things can become if the proper precautions aren’t taken, and so we make sure that you get best every step along the way.

Divine Cosmetic Surgery is the most trusted cosmetic clinic in India and has been able to achieve this position under the guidance and expertise of Dr. Amit Gupta. With his intense knowledge of anaesthetics, Dr. Amit Gupta always provides his patients with the best possible care. 

Contact us today to see how you can change your life!


Read other articles

Why Should You Get a Hair Transplant At a Hospital Only?

Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure & Doctor in Delhi