How Anaesthesia Works, And Why It’s So Complicated

There’s a lot more to “going under” than just counting down from 10 and then waking up when the surgery is over, although it’s great we can do that. Here’s how anaesthesia affects you, and what makes it risky enough for your doctor to warn you about it before surgery

The video above goes into the details, but if you can’t watch, here are the basics. There are three main types of anaesthesia: Regional, inhalational and intravenous. Regional anaesthesia prevents electrical pain signals from going from one part of your body to your brain. Inhalational anaesthesia affects your whole nervous system, including your brain, and is often used together with intravenous anaesthesia to put you under and keep you unconscious during major surgery.

Anaesthesia affects your nervous system and brain, but also other vital organs like your heart, lungs and liver, which is why it is so important that the anaesthesiologist mixes the right balance for you. They also monitor your vital signs during surgery so they can adjust the anaesthesia as needed. Check out the video above for a little more history here, what some of the common drugs used are and where they came from.

How Does Anesthesia Work? [Ted-Ed (YouTube)]


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