Anesthesia: Exploring Types and Side Effects


During any type of medical procedure, especially in surgery, the patient is given anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any kind of pain or discomfort and the medical procedure is completed smoothly. So, what is anesthesia after all? A medicine that is used to numb a part of the body during any kind of examination or operation of the patient to experience no discomfort is called Anesthesia. The literal meaning of anesthesia is mental and physical unconsciousness.


Some medicines are used to make the patient experience less or no pain during the patient’s surgery or any such medical procedure in which stitches are needed which is referred as anesthesia. Anesthesia is in the form of gas or vapor which is given to the patient through injection or is inhaled.



It is not that any doctor can start the surgery by giving anesthesia before the surgery.

There is a complete study of anesthesiology. There are trained professionals who are called anesthesiologists and under their supervision, anesthesia is given to the patient. The anesthesiologist, keeping in mind the patient’s medical condition and medical history, decides which anesthesia would be appropriate for the patient. The patient is under the supervision of an anesthesiologist until the patient is given anesthesia before surgery or medical procedure and till the patient regains consciousness.

types of anesthesia


The types of anesthesia are – local anesthesia and general anesthesia.

  1. Local anesthesia is used in minor surgery or any general medical procedure in which only one part of the patient’s body is numbed. During this, the patient remains fully conscious.
  2. In general anesthesia, the patient is completely sedated during the treatment process. General anesthesia is used during major and serious surgeries.

Apart from these two, regional anesthetic, epidural anesthetic, spine anesthetic, and sedation are also different types of anesthesia. In some cases, different types of anesthesia can also be used by mixing them together. After the operation, a regional anesthetic can sometimes be given to the patient in combination with a general anesthetic or with sedation to relieve the patient of pain. Anesthesiologists decide which anesthetic is right for the patient.


Anesthesiologists ask the patient about their medical history, allergies as well as the medicines they are taking.

After this, anesthesia is given through a needle in a vein or in the form of gas through breathing.

When the patient becomes unconscious, the anesthesiologist inserts a tube called a windpipe into the patient’s mouth. The body gets enough oxygen through this tube.

The anesthesiologist and his team monitor the patient at all times and keep an eye on their blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, etc to find out if the patient is facing any kind of problem during the surgery.

When the surgery is completed, the anesthesia is stopped and then the patient gradually regains consciousness. However, even after regaining consciousness, there may be a feeling of spinning or intoxication for some time.

anesthesia side effects


Although anesthesia is considered completely safe, with any drug or medical procedure, there are some side effects of anesthesia that can be short-term and can also continue for a long time. Following are the short term side effects of anesthesia seen in patients immediately after surgery or operation:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Chills, shivering
  • Feeling confused
  • Muscle pain
  • Itching
  • Bruising under the skin
  • Trouble urinating

Most people do not see any long-term side effects of anesthesia. But sometimes some long-lasting side effects can be seen in the elderly, such as:

  • Unconsciousness: Some patients may feel confused, disoriented, or have a loss of memory after anesthesia in surgery. This disorientation can come and go but it usually goes away completely after about a week.
  • Cognitive Dysfunction: Some people may experience cognitive impairment after surgery. If the patient has a stroke, heart disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s, there are higher chances of cognitive problems with anesthesia.

The best way to do pain-free surgery is through the administration of anesthesia. Your surgeon or doctor will assess your condition and accordingly recommend anesthesia if required.

For any information related to the anesthesia, visit our Specialty Care Clinics

Our team of experienced doctors will advise you on the best option for your safety.

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