Minor ailments can be cured with medication and injections, but in many cases, organs need to be removed and radiotherapy is required for relief. In order to improve the patient experience and reduce pain, general anesthesia is necessary to remove the organs. Some patients report that they wake up after general anesthesia with unclear consciousness, memory loss, and even slowed thinking ability.
So the question is, will general anesthesia damage the brain?
The process of general anesthesia surgery on the body
In the mid-19th century, the University of Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States performed surgical anesthesia demonstrations, and since then, medicine has welcomed the beginning of anesthesia and the pain of surgical excision alone has become a thing of the past.
A relatively conscious person cannot switch to deep sleep within a short period of time, and anesthesia induction is a high-risk stage for complications, generally divided into intravenous and inhalation anesthesia. In less than three minutes, the patient enters deep sleep, the muscles gradually relax and cannot breathe on their own, so a breathing channel must be established through external medical instruments. When the passage is successfully established and the patient’s symptoms return to normal, the next step should be performed.
Anesthesia is used to maintain life after surgical treatment. After the patient loses consciousness, the anesthesiologist will monitor all the physiological symptoms, such as blood pressure, heart rate, bleeding volume and respiratory rate. This data should not be deviated, and the drug injection dose should be adjusted according to the changes. In general, there are more than ten kinds of emergency medications.
After the surgery is completed, the doctor will switch to pain medication to avoid pain in the patient’s wound. When everything is stable and recovered, the patient will be woken up gradually, the vital signs will be measured, and the surgery will be successfully finished.
Generally speaking, according to the body’s basic metabolism, the anesthetic drug components will be excreted in the urine through the liver and kidney respiratory system within 8 hours. If the liver and kidney function is impaired, the metabolism time is longer. The technique has been developed for over a century so far, and the drugs are absolutely safe to use, and the dose used can hardly affect the memory, consciousness and thinking of adults.
In middle-aged and elderly patients, the body’s organs are gradually going downhill, the metabolic ability is pivotal, and the neurological response is greatly reduced, therefore, after receiving surgery, the consciousness learning ability will be relatively affected within a short period of time. This is clinically referred to as post-operative cognitive dysfunction.
With the gradual metabolism of medications, patients can return to normal within a week, although some patients may experience this for up to several months due to their unique physical condition.
The first injection of anesthesia is not harmful to children in their adolescent development, but frequent anesthesia may affect the development of children under the age of three.
What if the child wakes up unexpectedly during the procedure?
The only purpose of anesthesia injections is to reduce the patient’s pain, complete the surgery more efficiently, and help him or her return to a healthy body and life.
However, there are always exceptions to this rule. Many bodies are intolerant to anesthesia, causing patients to wake up during the procedure, which requires the anesthesiologist to perform emergency injections immediately.
Na, from Canada, underwent surgery 10 years ago, and everything was normal after the anesthesia before the surgery, but in the middle of the surgery, she felt pain and could even hear the conversations of the people around her clearly. Although conscious, but the body can not move, open eyes, slowly look at the scalpel, layer by layer lift the belly, want to remind the surrounding people, but they can not move and can not make a sound. Although the surgery was finally over, these hours were like a nightmare for Yu Na.
This condition is a relatively rare complication in the medical profession, known as intraoperative anesthesia awareness, which simply means that the anesthesia has failed. If the medical staff can detect the return of the patient’s physiological characteristics during the surgery, they must intervene in time to prevent the anesthesia from failing and reduce the patient’s pain.
Nowadays, in order to prevent such a situation, the surgeon will give the patient a cuff during the induction of anesthesia. The main function is that, when anesthesia fails, the slightest movement can be fed back to the anesthesiologist for dose adjustment to avoid medical errors and allow patients to suffer from surgical excision.
At present, there is no definite conclusion as to what makes a patient awake during anesthesia. It is only speculated that it may be related to the patient’s age, drug dosage, weight, body type, type of surgery, surgery time, and many other aspects, and the specific details are still under study.
However, if the patient has unstable vital signs and other chronic diseases, it is likely to affect the entire surgical procedure and the effect of anesthesia, and even leave neurological problems for six months to a year afterwards.