Types of sedation for surgical procedures

Surgery was practiced as early as 3000 BC, with evidence showing that the first incision or rather a hole was drilled on a man’s head. The evidence doesn’t document what really transpired after the incision was created. Still, surgery has evolved drastically, but it wasn’t until October 16, 1846, when Dr.  John Collins Warren carried out the first successful surgical procedure using anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Since then, the use of anesthesia has wholly revolutionized the dental and surgery field, and now almost every hospital all over the globe can carry both minor and extensive surgical procedures if well equipped. The adoption and use of anesthesia have made it possible for doctors to save many lives, increase life expectancy and help people lead a comfortable quality life. For instance, anesthesia for oral surgery has made it possible for many people to boost their self-esteem and confidence through achieving that “perfect” jaw shape.

There are four main types of sedation for surgical procedures which include the following:

  • General anesthesia

General anesthesia is what many people know or rather believe to be the only type of anesthesia used. General anesthesia is used in general surgery practice, and its administration may differ from one patient to another depending on the state of health, underlying medical conditions, and allergies. General anesthesia brings complete numbness as patients go unconscious and lose any sensation awareness once it is administered. Its effect may last even after surgery but won’t be experienced after about three hours. Though some patients react differently to General anesthesia, there is no documented case of its adverse effects.

  • Regional anesthesia

Regional anesthesia blocks sensation feeling on a particular body part and leads to numbness in that area. There are two types of regional anesthesia, which include epidural and spinal anesthesia. Both of them are applied through needle injection and can be used in childbirth or hip replacement.

  • Sedation

Sedation induces the patient to drowsiness and is mainly administered through IV. Sedation can also be used in small amounts to make the patient feel relaxed, calm, and collected when undergoing a procedure that requires them to be responsive to such eye treatment.

Deep sedation on the hand can send the patient to heavy sleep, meaning that he/she can breathe but will not know what is going on. Deep sedation is almost similar to general anesthesia and can be used to carry out procedures like colonoscopy or upper endoscopy. However, to achieve a perfect numbing effect, deep sedation must be used alongside propofol medication.

  • Local anesthesia

Lastly, we have the local anesthesia, a term used to refer to all the medications that can be used to numb a small area. Local anesthesia is used primarily in minor surgical procedures such as stitching wounds and deep cuts. Local anesthesia is administered by needle or topical application, depending on how long the procedure is likely going to take. A procedure involving a relatively deep penetration into the tissues will attract needle application.

Local anesthesia is also used in filling dental cavities. Local anesthesia can also be used at the end of inpatient surgery and applied in specific areas to provide additional pain relief, especially when the patient shows signs of discomfort.

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