Anesthesia Side Effect: Long Term and Short Term Effects of Anesthesia

Anesthesia is a branch of medicine that is practiced during surgery and dentistry. In Greek, it means “without sensation”. Anesthesia prevents pain during surgical procedure. The aim of giving anesthesia is to induce temporary state of loss of sensation and awareness. Anesthetic drugs are used to induce anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia. The main three categories are general anesthesia, regional and local anesthesia. Just like any other procedure, anesthesia too has its own side effects.

Side Effects of Anesthesia:

General anesthesia: In general anesthesia, patient becomes unconscious for time being. Certain anesthetic medicines are given through intravenous route and /or certain type of gasses is administered through breathing mask or endotracheal tube by the anesthetist doctor.

Throughout the surgical procedure, breathing is controlled through mechanical ventilation and vital functions are monitored. A trained anesthetist doctor administers anesthesia. Majority of side effects of general anesthesia develop soon after surgery and does not last long. Once surgery is over the patient will feel slightly groogy and confused. Besides this patient may also have following side effects such as Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, shivering, difficulty in passage of urine for short period of time, dizziness. Long term side effects are rare in general anesthesia. It sometimes may develop in elderly individuals.
This may be post operative delirium. In some patients there may be post operative cognitive dysfunction, heart and lung problem, drug reaction and stroke.

Regional anesthesia: Regional anesthesia includes spinal anesthesia, epidural anesthesia. In this type of anesthesia for example spinal anesthesia, a local anesthetic is injected into the fluid that surround spinal cord. Spinal anesthesia is generally used for surgery of lower part of body such as inguinal hernia, cesarean section, procedures in lower extremities etc. Side effects of spinal anesthesia include headache, failed block, drug reaction, low blood pressure, infection, damage to the nerve. In rare cases vertebral cord hematoma and epidural abscess can be the side effects or complications.

Local anesthesia: It is an anesthesia in which the anesthetic drug is administered into the specific area of the body that requires to be numbed. Local anesthesia can be given in the form of injection, spray or gel. Some of the side effects of local anesthesia include hemorrhage at the site of injection, infection, allergic reaction to the anesthetic drug, effect that lasts for long time than expected, swelling at the site of local anesthesia.