All operations and painful examinations are normally done under general anesthesia (i.e. sedation), or local anesthesia.
Anesthesia eliminates pain perception, while controlling the vital functions of the body, especially circulation and respiration.
Anesthesia is performed by a specialist – an anesthesiologist – who ensures your safety during anesthesia and surgery.
Various types of anesthesia are used for pain elimination:
General anesthesia (sedation)
This procedure induces unconsciousness and eliminates the perception of pain from the entire body. A sleep-like state lasts from the beginning to the end of the anesthesia and surgery. Before the induction of anesthesia, a training period is important (i.e. premedication), which in good cooperation minimizes your natural fear and is a prerequisite for successful and safe anesthesia. Anesthesia begins with administering doses of anesthetic into the blood stream (into a vein, usually on the upper arm) and is supplemented by the administration of a gaseous mixture of anesthetics and oxygen through a face mask or so-called intubation cannula. General anesthesia can be maintained by the repeated or continuous intravenous administration of anesthetics.
When anesthetized with a mask, a breathing gas mixture is administered through a mask tightly enclosed to face.
During so called intubation, the gases are supplied with a plastic tube inserted through the mouth or nose into the respiratory tract – the trachea – which is inserted immediately after falling asleep. This provides for breathing and protects your lungs from the effects of possible vomiting – aspiration.
During the operation, the anesthesiologist administers substances that weaken the muscles, which improve conditions for the operation, and reduce the amount of anesthetic needed.
Local anesthesia (conduction anesthesia)
This procedure induces the absence of sensation in a part of the body (regional anesthesia), or in the vicinity of the surgical site (local anesthesia). For instance, a regional absence of sensation in the nerve of the shoulder prevents pain perception only in the upper arm. In today‘s most commonly used type of regional anesthesia – spinal or epidural – the perception of pain sensation in area (e.g. lower extremities and abdomen) is interrupted by the administration of local anesthetics. The anesthetic is administered to the spine near the nerves (not into the spinal cord!) – in the case of spinal anesthesia, the anesthesiologist administers local anesthetic into the cerebrospinal fluid, and in the case of epidural anesthesia, into the outside of the spinal canal. The puncture is not painful because the area is numb. Also, you can sleep during this anesthesia. The successful absence of pain, lasting for a few hours after the surgery, can be achieved with this type of anesthesia, which is a great advantage compared to general anesthesia. Reduced mobility of the lower extremities is only temporary and does not endanger your safety.
If you are expecting severe pain after the surgery, we will inform you about the possibility of using a so-called epidural – a fine tube inserted into the nearby nerve roots into which pain medication is administered during the postoperative period, resulting in a virtually painless postoperative experience.
How do we select the method of anesthesia?
Each type of anesthesia has its advantages and disadvantages. An anesthesiologist will design a method of anesthesia that best fits your type of operation, state of health, and that will be the least burdensome for your body.
No anesthesia is risk free!
Serious, life-threatening complications, such as cardiac arrest, are very rare. The constantly improving choice of anesthesia, monitoring systems to detect vital functions, anesthesia machines, and the highly professional level of personnel reduce such risks to a minimum.
Currently used methods of anesthesia allow for a precise dosage of anesthetic, and respiratory devices enable good control of breathing. Throughout the duration of the operation and anesthesia, vital functions are monitored with specific machines to minimize the occurrence of possible complications.
Regional numbness burdens the body to a lesser extent; and in regional anesthesia, nerve damage occurance is very rare.
Please be sure to do the following before surgery!
In order to prevent the inhalation of vomit into the airways at the start of anesthesia:
– do not eat or drink for 6 hours before the surgery.
– do not smoke on the day of the surgery.
Take out removable dentures, lenses, earrings, rings, necklaces, watches, and wigs, and leave them in a safe place with our personnel. Remove make-up and nail polish.
Please tell us!
If you have been previously operated on, please tell us how you reacted to anesthesia, whether and what problems in the context of anesthesia occurred. Based solely on the answers to these questions, we will be able to assess the risks and ensure your maximum safety during the anesthesia process.
If you need assistance in completing the questionnaire, please contact the attending physician, anesthetist, or surgical department nurse. Information mentioned in the questionnaire is confidential. The questionnaire is part of your medical record.
The questionnaire can be downloaded here.