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The term anesthesia refers to the complete lack of awareness of pain. Anesthesia may be either general, regional or local. This is accomplished with a variety of medications ranging from intravenous narcotics and gas inhalants for general anesthesia to locally injected anesthetics and oral drugs.
What are the risks involved with anesthesia?
Any type of procedure or intervention carries risk. Although general or regional anesthesia is performed on a routine basis, and we feel the risks are certainly manageable, there is always the potential for serious, life-threatening complications. This is not said to create fear or anxiety. Informed consent is very important and the patient and family need to know that there is always the small possibility of some unforeseen problems.
The type of potential complication depends somewhat on the type of anesthesia or surgery being performed as well as the overall health of the patient. In general, it can be said that serious life-threatening complications can happen related to the administration of anesthesia. These complications include but are not limited to: headaches, nausea, vomiting, nerve damage including spinal cord damages, awareness under anesthesia, back pain, eye injury, tooth injury, lung problems, brain damage, stroke, heart attack or death.
Having listed all these potential problems, let us now state that we feel that the practice of anesthesia is safer than it has ever been. All anesthesia providers at Portage are dedicated, highly-trained professionals. Our job is to provide you or your loved one with a comfortable and safe surgical and anesthesia experience. As with any medical procedure, some degree of risk is involved. Although no guarantee can be given, we feel that this risk is quite low.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call (906) 483-1000 or (800) 573-5001 (toll free).
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