Surgery

New guidelines say breastfeeding is safe after anaesthesia

New guidelines published by the Association of Anaesthetists in the journal Anaesthesia, to coincide with the start of World Breast Feeding Week (1-7 August) say that breastfeeding is safe after the mother has had anaesthesia, ...

Radiology & Imaging

Lego builds anaesthesia skills according to new study

Lego could be used as a practical tool to train doctors in anesthetic skills according to new research that has shown a simple task using the building bricks can help improve technical skills—a finding that could improve ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Surgery in older adults does not up risk for Alzheimer disease

(HealthDay)—Older adults who have surgery with general anesthesia may experience a modest cortical thinning in the brain, but it does not appear to be tied to Alzheimer disease, according to a study recently published in ...

Cardiology

Cutting-edge procedure mends Jagger's 'heart of stone'

When the Rolling Stone's Mick Jagger underwent heart valve replacement surgery in New York recently, according to media reports the doctor in France who invented the technique took a modest bow.

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Anesthesia

Anesthesia, or anaesthesia (see spelling differences; from Greek αν-, an-, "without"; and αἴσθησις, aisthēsis, "sensation"), traditionally meant the condition of having sensation (including the feeling of pain) blocked or temporarily taken away. It is a pharmacologically induced and reversible state of amnesia, analgesia, loss of responsiveness, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes or decreased stress response, or all simultaneously. This allows patients to undergo surgery and other procedures without the distress and pain they would otherwise experience. An alternative definition is a "reversible lack of awareness," including a total lack of awareness (e.g. a general anesthetic) or a lack of awareness of a part of the body such as a spinal anesthetic. The pre-existing word anesthesia was suggested by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. in 1846 as a word to use to describe this state.

Types of anesthesia include local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, general anesthesia, and dissociative anesthesia. Local anesthesia inhibits sensory perception within a specific location on the body, such as a tooth or the urinary bladder. Regional anesthesia renders a larger area of the body insensate by blocking transmission of nerve impulses between a part of the body and the spinal cord. Two frequently used types of regional anesthesia are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia. General anesthesia refers to inhibition of sensory, motor and sympathetic nerve transmission at the level of the brain, resulting in unconsciousness and lack of sensation. Dissociative anesthesia uses agents that inhibit transmission of nerve impulses between higher centers of the brain (such as the cerebral cortex) and the lower centers, such as those found within the limbic system.

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