Whats general anesthesia?

If you’ve ever been told that you need to undergo surgery, the idea of being unconscious might have come up through conversations with your doctor or from reading articles online. And by ‘unconscious’, we mean not feeling, hearing, seeing or participating in any way during a certain period.

“Wait what? That sounds like my college years… are they advocating drug-use now?” Nope! We’re talking about general anesthesia – the magical concoction that makes surgeries possible without people screaming their lungs out every time incisions are made.

What is General Anesthesia?

First things first – let’s unpack what this mystical monster named ‘General Anesthesia’ even is!

In its simplest definition, general anesthesia refers to a state where parts of your brain aren’t responding normally to stimuli i.e., when someone opens part of your body as if it was a can of soda. It implies total lack of sensation and conscious awareness for surgical procedures performed on typically alive bodies ranging anywhere between removing tumors to fixing fractures.

The Four Components

An ideal anesthetic must do four things:

  1. Induce Unconsciousness

    You thought getting knocked out after three shots at the bar was cool? Well get ready because here comes fancy sister anesthesia who needs only one push of a button to take you into dreamland!

  2. Block Pain

    To quote Talking Heads "Pain is just fear leaving your body"... well so is blood but you don't see us keeping that in.
  3. Facilitate Muscle Relaxation

    Ever felt mortified coming home buzzed after dancing all night at the club and realizing how many muscles went rogue while shaking hips ? Now imagine them being controlled instantly using medication better than tequila.
  4. Create Amnesia

    Your body deserves some good amnesia considering all the embarrassing moments you build up from day to day. This is the perfect chance!

How Does it Work?

The actual working of general anesthesia varies a bit and involves multiple steps before taking additional substances with different names once again.

  • Let us simplify for you : imagine that each component has an assigned employee called ‘drug’. Everyone chips in to knock your body out; keeping it relaxed, preventing pain even when being hit (ouch), but its like they give all these different jobs individually because gossip travels fast as lightning… so eventually, someone starts talking about how messed up the job became – this means another family member joins in making it a party until finally amnesia-guy yells “SURPRISE!” and no one remembers anything!

Got all that? No? Okay fine, we’ll prepare technical terminology:

  • There are two pathways where concurrent activation occurs:

1) Inhibition of excitation

   By blocking certain neurotransmitter activity i.e., stuff transmitting signals through nerve cells between parts of our bodies.

2) Activation of inhibition

    Allowing for more Chloride ions (electrically charged atoms which help send  messages around your brain). Think Pac Man game mode where dots turn into ghosts except instead you become gleeful while under surgery!

What Happens During Pre-Anesthesia

Mulled over by anxious patients prior to any procedure is always the same set of questions; Will I wake up during surgery?, or forget everything that happened ,or be made fun off after I regain consciousness??? The good news is doctors have fully thought out things ahead unlike finding yourself at Friday happy hour downing Fireball shots.

Before starting proceedings surrounding administering anesthesia begins’s weeks/months beforehand:

-Sometimes routine lab tests will occur depending on medical background/history so maybe avoid buying hotdogs from street vendors

-Plenty intake advice related to medications,diet etc. will be given It’s like hiring a private chef for your body!

-how the medicine will be given depending on factors involving patient etc.

What are the Effects of General Anesthesia?

Once unconsciousness is reached, most patients have no recollection of what happens during their surgery.

Now that sounds like time travel to me… except, well forward only and without a Tardis..

Despite being one post-surgery or lost in thought while under anesthesia; there always occurs mechanical response stabilization. RN’S monitor output/output intensity ,pulse oxygenation levels, blood pressure etc. Spoiler alert – better make sure it doesn’t go below necessary since you cannot really be put back into hibernation before several years down the line.

Possible annoying side-effects

Side-Effect Suggested Cure/Advisement
Nausea Avoid alcohol/fast beforehand
Shivering Given additional blanket
    So losing sensation means bye-bye feeling cold too!

Common Types Of Anesthetics

Every individual may not respond similarly to general anesthesia as depends largely based on age,fatigue,diet habits or certain diseases.

Here are some commonly used types:

Intravenous (IV)

Similar to painkillers commonly used via different veins in our bodies this anesthetic involves using happy juice from tubes injected through vein leading up until stupor takes charge among other fluids required!

Pros : Works fastest with light sleep effect

Cons : May cause mouth dryness amongst others.

Clinical Jargon Bonus Round: IV drugs usually bring about unadulterated streptokinase but can also include iso-propanol,ketamine propofol,midazolam among others.


You guys remember playing Store Owner pretending toys were all amazing products? Well here comes something even cooler than Transformers – breathing through a mask inserted into nose or mouth and inhaling anesthetic in vapor form.

Pros : Allows for steady,safer level of unconsciousness

Cons: patients may experience sore throat, vomitting etc.

Clinical Jargon Bonus Round: Nitrous Oxide – AKA ‘Laughing Gas’ is not only a pain-relief gas but the oldest inhalational anesthetic in clinical use today!

Local Anesthesia

Ever dread dental visits due to ‘good vibrations’? Well here comes something called local anesthesia- delivered by injection on localized area.

Lets just say Mr. Sensitive things around your body aren’t ready to put up with agonizing incisions being made outside your awareness as yet.


So there it is folks – General Anesthesia when used correctly becomes dream like setting till eventually reality hits hard. But medical science has come along way from using alcohol lemon drops before slicing things open so if you ever have to go through medical procedures at least know that during surgery people won’t start playing drums using flesh as bongos…

That’s all folks!

Random Posts