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How Does Anesthesia Affect the Body?

by
author image Lee Francis
Lee has been writing freelance articles since 2001. His articles have appeared in various newspapers, magazines and online publications such as "Orleans Daily" and the "Audubon Health Review." He holds a Master of Science in nursing administration from Tulane University.
How Does Anesthesia Affect the Body?
Grogginess is a side effect of waking up from anesthesia. Photo Credit Michele Piacquadio/Hemera/Getty Images

Anesthesia is used when a patient undergoes any type of surgery. According to Surgery Encyclopedia, anesthesia is a medication administered to patients to numb pain or sensation while surgery is being carried out. It is routinely administered through inhalation or injection. Anesthesia works by blocking nerve impulses, which helps to temporarily sustain pain. There are four types of anesthesia: regional, general, local or intravenous sedation. Anesthesia has its own side effects that typically disappear after surgery.

Nausea and Vomiting

Vomiting and nausea may affect the body as a side effect of anesthesia, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists. These symptoms typically occur after anesthesia administration and post-surgery. After surgery, doctors usually prescribe anti-nausea medications to alleviate these symptoms. Patients should contact a physician if symptoms become uncomfortable or severe.

Grogginess

According to MayoClinic.com, grogginess is a side effect of anesthesia. Typically, general anesthesia, where the patient feels nothing and goes to sleep, will cause the individual to feel groggy after waking up. As a result, confusion and disorientation may occur after surgery. Patients often feel drowsy, tired and weak for several days. In addition, individuals may also experience coordination problems, blurred vision and difficulties in making decisions.

Allergic Response

MayoClinic.com reports that an allergic response to anesthesia may occur. This can cause breathing problems, muscle spasms and rapid heartbeats. In addition, the patient may also develop a high fever. This condition, called malignant hyperthermia, occurs after general anesthesia administration. It is advised to consult a doctor if allergic reactions to anesthesia develop.

Anesthesia Toxicity

Toxicity may occur as a side effect to anesthesia, according to Surgery Encyclopedia. The medication halothane, used in some anesthesia, may cause necrosis or the premature death of living tissue in the liver. The medication sevoflurance may contribute to kidney toxicity. In addition, anesthesia machines may form carbon dioxide when breaking down inhalation anesthetics. This process can prove toxic to red blood cells.

Other Side Effects

A patient may feel dryness in the mouth or soreness in the throat. This often occurs with inhalation anesthetics where tubes are inserted down the throat to administer anesthesia. MayoClinic.com notes that the individual may also experience shivering and chills.

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