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Introduction to Anesthesiology – Anesthesiology Basics

by Brian Warriner, MD
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    00:06 Hello ladies and gentlemen. Here are a series of questions and answers to start you thinking about anesthesiology. I'll follow that with a short history of the specialty and a discussion on how anesthesiology has changed the world. A common question I'm asked, and is a reasonable question: I've been told that I will be asleep during my surgery.

    00:30 I don't think surgery can be performed on me if I were just asleep. Is general anesthesia the same as sleep? General anesthesia is not just deeper sleep. It's much better compared to a state of reversible coma. It's a type of coma that we can induce and we can reverse. And yes, we can reverse it and you will wake up from your anesthetic.

    00:54 The second common question I'm asked is: I've been told that I will be paralyzed during my surgery. Isn't this dangerous? How will I breathe? This statement is often accompanied by my students with statements like: that's really gross and how will you do that to people? The answer is: you may be paralyzed during your surgery.

    01:12 If the surgeon requires muscle relaxation to complete the surgery successfully and safely, or if the anesthesiologist must place a breathing tube in your trachea. The anesthesiologist is responsible for managing your breathing and will make sure that you have no memory for this whole experience.

    01:30 Third question that's commonly asked is: Will I remember being operated upon? You will remember entering the operating room and being introduced to the team members that are going to be involved in your surgery.

    01:42 You will then be given an anesthetic which will eliminate all memory of the surgical experience itself. And you will not be awakened and you will not reform your memory until the surgery is completed. After the anesthetic is gone, won't I have a lot of pain? When anesthesia is properly delivered, the provider assures that pain prevention is an important aspect of the care. Before the end of surgery, the anesthesiologist will provide you with pain killers that will produce good pain relief when you wake up. In addition, the nurses in the recovery room will give you additional pain relief, if you require it. So here's a definition from the Oxford dictionary: It's not sleep, surgery cannot be performed under conditions of normal sleep. Period. And the Oxford dictionary says: an anesthetic that affects the whole body and it usually causes a loss of consciousness, i.e. he had an operation under general anesthesia. The critical word here is a reversible drug-induced state of unconsciousness, which is characterized by a coma-like state under the control of the anesthetist, term that is also know as anesthesiologist, depending on what part of the world you're in. It's often associated with muscle paralysis.

    03:06 It's always associated with profound amnesia for the surgical event.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction to Anesthesiology – Anesthesiology Basics by Brian Warriner, MD is from the course Anesthesiology: Introduction.


    Author of lecture Introduction to Anesthesiology – Anesthesiology Basics

     Brian Warriner, MD

    Brian Warriner, MD


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