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Dealing with Possible Long Term Side Affects of Anesthesia

Every person who has undergone any surgical procedure has had some type of anesthesia administered. There are two main types of anesthesia that are used frequently in hospital settings these are local and general. Local anesthesia carries far fewer risks than general anesthesia. General anesthesia is administered through an IV or as a gas through an oxygen mask. The medication causes the patient to become temporarily paralyzed while undergoing the surgery. Because of the way that general anesthesia works there can be many long term effects from the medication. Some of these effects can be treated using counseling or physical therapy while others may require the patient to be admitted to 30 day Rehab Centers.

Peripheral Nerve Damage

This is a common side effect of anesthesia caused by the patient remaining in one position for a prolonged period of time. The condition may be temporary or permanent and may require additional treatment to recover. The nerves most often affected by this condition are those of the arms and legs. Treatment for peripheral nerve damage may include medication or physical therapy.

Cognitive Decline

This side effect occurs most in patients over the age of sixty years old. This side effect typically begins to get better but is still a long lasting effect. The cognitive decline can affect the patient’s ability to remember details and focus on information. Over time the severity of the condition typically decreases. In certain patients this condition will show little to no improvement and may become a permanent issue caused by the anesthesia.

Anesthesia Awareness

This is a severe long term side effect associated with anesthesia. Anesthesia Awareness is when a patient is paralyzed by the medication but fails to lose consciousness. Patients who suffer from anesthesia awareness frequently suffer from anxiety, depression and sleep disorders stemming from the surgical procedure. Many patients who suffer from anesthesia awareness are likely to turn to medication or illegal substances to attempt to control the symptoms. It was not until recently that patients and doctors alike became aware of the occurrence of this side effect.

Heart Attacks and Strokes

Older patients who had non cardiac related surgeries show a high percentage who suffer from heart attacks and strokes within the first year. The cause of this can be the fact that anesthesia and surgery can both trigger inflammation throughout the body. Some patients may find this inflammation to last longer than others which can lead to other medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and even death.

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