With modern anaesthetics and ways of working, the risks are very low. For the vast majority of people, the risks are negligible. However, it’s important that a risk assessment is carried out with the guidance of the information in your health declaration. Some conditions of illness involve increased risks, e.g. heart disease, high blood pressure, being excessively overweight (obesity). The fear that many experience before anaesthesia is usually unfounded and may be due to the loss of control.
After all the preparations in the care department, you will receive painkillers and possibly a small cocktail of sedatives. Then a thin plastic tube is inserted into a blood vessel through a needle in the skin. Most often, the blood vessel is n the inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand. A bag containing a saline solution is attached to the inserted tube to replace the fluid you would otherwise have been drinking.
When you come to the operating room, you will be met by a team of trained specialists who will take care of you and go through what will take place. You lie on your back on the operating table, which can feel a little chilly and uncomfortable. Your arms are placed straight out in a special support. A blood pressure cuff is placed around one arm, small sticky patches are placed on the shoulders to trace cardiac activity and a small clamp on one finger to monitor blood oxygenation. Various medicines are injected through the plastic tube directly into the bloodstream and you quickly fall asleep, sometimes with an oxygen mask that rests lightly on your face. Once you are asleep, a plastic tube is inserted through the mouth into the throat to ensure an unblocked airway during the procedure.
Throughout the operation, an anaesthetist or a nurse anaesthetist is by the headboard and monitors, measures and records heartbeat, heart rhythm, blood pressure, respiratory rate, the breath’s volume and its oxygen and carbonic acid (carbon dioxide) content as well as blood oxygen saturation. Since each patient is unique, the choice of anaesthetic is tailored individual, ad the same for the amount given. We use modern, short-acting drugs that go directly into the bloodstream and with little to no side effects such as nausea, for example.
After the procedure is completed, the anaesthetic supply is switched off and you’re returned to your bed, rolled out to the waking section where the monitoring continues until you are fully awake, which can take from 5-30 minutes. Just before you wake up, the tube in your throat is removed. After drinking either water or cola, you’ll be transported up to your room in the ward where we will continue to monitor you and provide pain relief based on your individual needs.
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