Anesthesia Options

There are various different types of anesthesia that can be used, but do you know exactly what each option means for you?

Topical anesthesia generally refers to eye drops that numb the eye for cataract surgery. It generally takes 20 minutes for the area to become numb after applying the eye drops. Patients may potentially experience some irritation or dryness afterwards.

Local anesthesia can be utilized with or without anesthesia sedation.  If used while the patient is awake, he or she may experience some pain during the injection itself, but within minutes the affected site will be numb. However, if anesthesia sedation is given, patients will be unaware of the injection. When the anesthesia is injected into the area that will be treated, it temporarily blocks the transmission of nerve impulses and motor functions in that specific area. Potential side effects include some swelling from the injections.

Local anesthesia while the patient is awake commonly includes pain blocks and certain podiatry cases.  While procedures such as hernia repair, colorectal procedures, and some orthopedic surgeries require sedation.

Regional anesthesia is a safe method of anesthesia, which, in some cases, may be used as an alternative to general anesthesia, but more often is used in conjunction with general anesthesia for excellent post-operative pain management. Regional anesthesia involves the injection of local anesthetics around nerve groups, which correspond to the area of surgical concern. It thenblocks a group of nerves so that pain cannot reach the brain. This is generally used in large areas like the arms and legs. A potential side effect is not being able to move normally until the anesthesia has completely worn off.

Regional anesthesia is mainly used in orthopedic surgeries involving shoulder and upper extremities, hip and lower extremities.

General anesthesia has been administered safely to millions of patients over the past century.  Although alternatives exist to general anesthesia, in many cases general anesthesia remains the most commonly used form of anesthesia in modern medicine, and can be safely given to the vast majority of patients in an outpatient setting. General anesthesia is either administered via inhalation through a breathing tube, or an IV and causes the patient to be unconscious during surgery to inhibit pain throughout the entire body. Each patient’s experience with anesthesia is unique and depends on the patient’s health and the type of anesthesia used. Potential side effects can include a sore or irritated throat and nausea when you wake up.

General anesthesia is used in most major surgeries.

If you have any questions about the type of anesthesia that will be used prior to your procedure and La Peer, do not hesitate to call us at 855.360.9119. We will make sure all of your questions are answered and that you feel comfortable with your anesthesia plan.