Monthly Archives: January 2009

Anesthesia

The means of putting a patient into a pain free state is what anesthesia is all about. The medical advances that have occurred in the last century are truly remarkable. There is no better example of this than the various anesthetics available to the medical and veterinary medical professions. Ether was primarily used before a whole new category of anesthetics known as barbituates was discovered, each with major risks and disadvantages. It wasn’t until “inhalant anesthesia” was introduced that the “risk factor” of anesthesia for surgical procedures declined substantially. What has changed in the last 25 years is the refi nement of anesthesia and the equipment to administer it. Today, we have complete control of the level of anesthesia, depth of anesthesia and length of anesthesia. We utilize all electronic equipment available to us such as respiratory and cardiac monitors, pulse oximeters and sophisticated anesthesia machines that mix the anesthesia with oxygen. As a result, depending upon the surgery performed, we can discharge the patient hours after the procedure is completed. Years ago we kept the patient in confi nement for 3-5 days. Today, pain killers are administered and the patient is discharged. BUT what has not changed, is the ability of the body to heal quickly. The patient still needs time and rest to heal. Sutures do not heal, they only hold tissue together and many sutures are self-dissolvable, but the incision must still heal by natural means. Minimal physical exercise, rest and time is a must.