Frequently Asked Questions

What does the anesthetist do during the operation?

FGTBA Anesthesiologist

Throughout the operation your anesthetist will be keeping a watchful eye on your breathing and the action on your heart using the monitors. He or she will see that the level of anesthesia is kept just as deep as is necessary, that you are not feeling pain and that you are sufficiently relaxed for the surgeon to perform his task.

He will also be mindful of the shifts of your internal body fluids that occur during surgery and will ensure that you receive the correct amount of intravenous fluids. Should there be blood loss sufficient for you to be in danger of undue anemia, blood may be administered. Your anesthetist will remain with you throughout and will not leave the theatre.

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What are the advantages of epidural and spinal anesthesia?

Epidural, Spinal Anesthesia

This form of anesthesia has a number of excellent advantages.

  1. Your brain and heart are not affected to any extent so that you remain awake and there is very little danger of the strength of your heartbeat being diminished. When a Caesarean Section is done in this way the mother can hold and appreciate her baby within minutes of delivery, so that a strong bond is formed between the two.
  2. The effect on the nerve fibres that conduct pain and touch is greater than that on those which affect movement, so that during labor for example, the pain of the contractions can be controlled but the mother can still move about.
  3. The duration of analgesia is long-lasting so that no other drugs are necessary for pain relief for up to many hours after the operation, thus avoiding the side effects of drugs such as morphine, which has the side effects of drowsiness and nausea.

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Will I feel anything when I am under general anesthetic?

Under Anesthesia

No. Modern anesthetic drugs have made the induction of anesthesia a simple, stress-free and safe experience. Your anesthetist will inject an intravenous induction agent into the drip and you will drift off to sleep within 30 seconds. Thereafter you will know and feel nothing until the operation is completed.

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Is anesthesia really safe?

Safe Anesthesia

Modern anesthesia has become a very safe procedure, considerably safer than traveling in your motorcar. It is, however, not entirely without some risk and one should not have an operation under anesthetic unless it is really necessary. The main reasons for the ever-improving safety record are the expertise of your anesthetist, the continually improving “cleaner” anesthetic drugs, and the huge technological strides made in electronic devices used to measure your body’s response – the monitors. The risks associated with anesthesia are that in addition to affecting the nervous system, anesthetic drugs also affect other organ systems such as the heart.

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What is conscious sedation?

Conscious Sedation

This is a very light form of anesthesia where the patient does not even lose consciousness. It is used for procedures such as gastroscopies. Sedative drugs are used in very low doses so that the patient is rendered free of any anxiety and discomfort, but can communicate verbally throughout the procedure.

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Who will be involved in an operation?

Surgical Team

There are quite a number of highly trained medical personnel who will be involved in your operation. The surgical team will include the surgeon himself, the doctor who will be the surgical assistant, a professional nursing sister, called the “scrub sister”, and her assistant, the floor nurse, who fetches and carries for her. The anesthetic team consists of the anesthetist, an anesthetic assistant, and the recovery room sister.

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Why does a person experience muscle pains after an operation?

Post Surgery Muscle Pain

If the muscle relaxant scoline has been used this may cause you to have generalized aches and pains in your muscles for two to three days. This drug is not used routinely and is saved for special situations when the anesthetist needs to intubate very quickly. These pains, called scoline pains, are more prevalent in very muscular and fit patients.

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Why is starvation important?

Pre Surgery Starvation

One of the risks of an anesthetic is that stomach contents can be regurgitated or that there may be vomiting, and you lungs will be contaminated with stomach contents. This can have very serious consequences. For this reason your anesthetist will instruct you not to take any fluid for at least two hours or solid food for four to six hours before your operation.

If your operation is been carried out as an emergency and there is not time to allow your stomach to empty, your anesthetist has to use special techniques to minimize the risk of aspiration, as it is called. But it is always best to keep risks to an absolute minimum, and pre-operative starvation is the best way to do this.

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