Various anaesthesia techniques
GENERAL ANAESTHESIA :
General anaesthesia is a state that resembles being in a deep sleep. It is carried out by injecting drugs and/or by inhaling a gas. The goal is to produce loss of consciousness, eliminate pain and relax muscles.
General anaesthesia is comprised of three stages:
- Carried out by intravenous injection or by gas inhalation.
- Depending on the depth of sleep, breathing can be decreased or eliminated, which is why additional measures may be needed:
- Mask over the nose and mouth
- Laryngeal mask (introduced by the mouth and placed on the larynx)
- Intubation tube introduced in the trachea
From your arrival in the operating theatre until your departure, there will be continuous monitoring of your organ functions by the anaesthetist or a specialised, qualified anaesthesia nurse. All the data will be recorded in your anaesthesia record.
- Carried out by intermittent or continuous administration of gas (halogenated) agents and/or intravenous agents. The quality of the anaesthesia is basically noted, by observing the changes in blood pressure and heart rate.
- The patient is kept warm to maintain his/her body temperature
- Compensation for fluid and electrolyte losses as well as blood loss, if any.
- This occurs when the anaesthetic agents that were administered are partially or completely eliminated. It begins in the operating theatre and continues until you regain the ability to breathe on your own.
- Transfer of patient to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for monitoring of postoperative and postanaesthesia risks:
- Monitoring and maintenance of the major vital organ functions
- Prevention and treatment of any complications
- Pain assessment and management
REGIONAL ANAESTHESIA :
In regional anaesthesia only the part of the body where the surgery will be carried out is anaesthetised.
There are central regional anaesthetic drugs (epidural or spinal anaesthesia) and peripheral regional anaesthetic drugs (plexus and single nerve blocks).
Regional anaesthesia techniques are therefore aimed at temporarily interrupting the transmission of pain messages along the nerve structures at a given moment, while preserving the patient's conscious state.
The different regional anaesthesia methods:
- Central regional anaesthesia:
- Spinal anaesthesia: a local anaesthetic is injected in the spinal canal; as it diffuses in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it anaesthetises the lower part of the abdomen and the lower limbs.
- Epidural anaesthesia: epidural anaesthesia is an epispinal, regional anaesthesia. A local anaesthetic is administered in the epidural space as a single injection or by repeated injections via a catheter.
- Peripheral regional anaesthesia:
- Peripheral regional anaesthesia is the injection of a local anaesthetic into a nerve root via its sheath; the nerves to be anaesthetised are located using anatomical markers and stimulation to find and block nerve impulses.
Your vital signs will be monitored as with general anaesthesia, and after the procedure you will be taken to the recovery room, which you will leave once you start to recover feeling in your limbs.
BLOOD TRANSFUSION :
The anaesthetist will explain to you what a blood transfusion is.
Blood is the vital transporter of oxygen and tolerability for anaemia (decrease in haemoglobin) is different from one subject to the next. The requirement for transfusion differs according to the type of surgery, the process and your reserves. The anaesthesia consultation enables optimisation of these reserves through a practical transfusion strategy. In fact, transfusion is actually carried out according to the recommendations and very strict rules for avoiding the risks of bacterial or viral infections. It is during the anaesthesia consultation that the transfusion methods are set, according to your health condition and the scheduled procedure.
As it is a scheduled procedure, an auto-transfusion can be planned in case of significant bleeding (scheduled autologous transfusion), i.e., the possibility of being transfused with your own blood donated before the operation.