General anesthesia is recommended in case of serious surgery, when maximum relaxation of the patient’s muscles is required. Also, this type of anesthesia allows for emergency operations in extreme situations.
These methods of pain relief have one common goal – to ensure the painlessness of the operation. Also, these types of anesthesia are related by the need to monitor the patient’s condition, as well as the possible risk of certain complications.
Both procedures have their pros and cons. So what kind of anesthesia is preferable?
Spinal anesthesia is recommended for operations that do not require long time expenditures. Also, this type of anesthesia is preferred when performing a cesarean section, because it does not have a toxic effect on the fetus, and allows the mother to immediately establish contact with the child.
Of course, the choice of type of anesthesia depends on the doctor. The patient should carefully listen to the recommendations of a specialist, since only he can objectively assess the situation and make the right decision.
Often in life there are situations when they face painful medical interventions. In such cases, the thought of anesthesia comes to one of the first ones. There are different methods of pain relief – from local anesthesia to general anesthesia. The decision on the advisability of a particular method is made by the doctor, but the patient has the right to know how one type of anesthesia differs from another.
The technique of this type of anesthesia is as follows: the doctor performs a puncture of the subarachnoid space and injects an anesthetic solution into the cerebrospinal fluid. Further, through nerve blockage, a complete loss of sensitivity of the lower body and abdomen occurs.
This procedure is prescribed in the following cases:
- Planned cesarean section.
- Surgery on the pelvic organs in women (for example, removal of an ovarian cyst).
- Operations for pathologies of the prostate gland.
- Removal of inguinal redhead.
- Painful procedures for examining the joints of the lower extremities.
This type of anesthesia is considered one of the safest, however, like any medical intervention, it has contraindications.
In what cases is spinal anesthesia contraindicated?
- Inflammatory processes in the field of puncture.
- Blood clotting disorder.
- Increased intracranial pressure.
- Pathology of the cardiovascular system.
- Malformations of the spine.
The procedure itself proceeds as follows:
- The patient needs to lie on his side with legs bent at the knees.
- Next, the doctor must choose the right place for the injection. To do this, he will examine and probe the bone protrusions.
- After observing the hygienic treatment of the hands, the doctor will put on gloves and disinfect the injection site with an antiseptic. The injection area is covered with sterile gauze napkins.
- In order for the procedure for inserting the needle for anesthesia to be as painless as possible, the doctor will make a local anesthetic injection at the injection site. And then a needle for spinal blockade will be inserted, through which the drug will enter the body.
- Before introducing the anesthetic into the subarachnoid space, the doctor must make sure the needle is positioned correctly. Indicators of this are a feeling of “failure” when advancing the needle and the cerebrospinal fluid flowing from the cannula of the syringe. Only after making sure that his actions are correct, the doctor can continue to work with the patient.
- Also, to prevent the development of complications during the action of anesthesia, the patient’s cardiac activity and the level of his blood pressure will be monitored.
Spinal anesthesia is also characterized by a complication in the form of a headache, although the risk of its development is quite low.
This type of anesthesia is the most powerful and effective method. The essence of this procedure is to artificially suppress the central nervous system, turn off reflexes and relax muscles. This type of anesthesia is prescribed in cases where a complete shutdown of the patient’s consciousness is necessary.
General anesthesia is of several types, the most common – inhalation and intravenous.
Since this procedure requires a serious approach from the medical staff, there are a number of contraindications to it:
- Hormone-dependent diseases.
- Heart Rate Failure.
- Severe pathologies of internal organs in the stage of decompensation.
- Acute period of myocardial infarction.
- Severe bronchial asthma.
- Drug and alcohol intoxication.
- Eating before surgery.
What is the general anesthesia procedure?
- Before the operation, the anesthetist will select a drug for anesthesia and choose the type of administration.
- Next, equipment is connected to the patient, which will monitor the state of the body.
- Throughout the operation and the duration of anesthesia, the anesthesiologist must monitor the effectiveness of anesthesia, heart rate, heart function, and oxygen content in the blood.
- Since general anesthesia causes relaxation of the respiratory muscles, an artificial lung ventilation device will be connected to the patient.
What complications can cause general anesthesia?
- Cerebral edema, as a result of the accumulation of carbon dioxide.
- Blood pressure jumps.
- Laryngospasm and bronchospasm.
- Pulmonary edema.
- Myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest.
- Allergic reactions.
- Frequent hiccups.
The main differences
These methods of anesthesia vary relative to each other. Often, their differences are a determining factor in choosing the method of anesthesia.
What is the difference between spinal and general anesthesia?
- General anesthesia, in contrast to spinal anesthesia, allows for long-term operations, because it has a long period of action.
- With general anesthesia, the patient’s consciousness is completely turned off, he does not hear and does not realize what is happening. During the action of spinal anesthesia, the patient is always conscious, can talk.
- General anesthesia requires more attention from the medical staff, because it has more serious complications.
- Spinal anesthesia has less toxic effects on the body.
- One of the risks of general anesthesia is awakening during surgery, which in itself is very unpleasant. With spinal anesthesia this cannot happen, because the patient does not sleep.
- It is much easier to carry out the general anesthesia procedure in comparison with spinal blockade.