Understanding of How Anesthesia Affects the Body (Video)
While most people are familiar with what anesthesia is, few people have a firm understanding of what occurs when a person is anesthetized. This is because anesthesia is far more complicated than simply falling asleep.
Anesthesia works by affecting the nervous system in various ways. It may block message, restrict how certain messages flow from one area to the next, or “flood” certain cells with messages to create an artificial blockage.
The reason anesthesia involves so many different mechanisms revolves around the complicated way that the body communicates with itself. Anesthesia must effectively silence many of the neural impulses used by the body on a daily basis to ensure that procedures like surgeries and other medical treatments are safe and not traumatic for the patient.
The complex nature of the body means that anesthesia is an equally complicated field. There are countless anesthetics and techniques for using them, which in turn means that anesthesia is a larger field than it appears to be at first glance.
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Some anesthetics may focus on affecting how organs like the heart or liver functions to slow down certain processes. Some may interfere with regional communication, such as how novocaine does during a dental procedure. Others may influence how the brain communicates with itself, which in turn leads to the unconscious state people typically enter when anesthetized before a major surgery.
Let’s take a closer look at how anesthesia works. We’ll examine some of the different types of anesthesia, how they affect the body differently, and how these new techniques affect surgical procedures in beneficial ways.