Anaesthesia is one of the most important parts of surgery that enables patients to undergo any type of operation without much distress, discomfort and pain. For the most part, there are three types of anaesthesias.
- General anaesthesia is used to render a patient completely unconscious so surgeons can perform the operation without the risk of the patient moving during the procedure.
- Regional anaesthesia is commonly used in knee joint and hip joint surgeries where only a specific area of the body that is operated on is administered with an anaesthetic. This type of anaesthesia usually covers a larger area of the body.
- Local anaesthesia is similar to regional anaesthesia but is usually confined to a smaller area of the body.
The role of the anaesthetist
One of the most important roles of an anaesthetist is to evaluate a patient prior to surgery and determine a suitable anaesthetic plan. This includes a comprehensive study of the patient’s medical history and assessment of his current health condition, the nature and duration of the operation, technical support factors, and other pain management plans. During surgery, the role of the anaesthetist is to ensure that the patient is unconscious throughout the operation. During the operation, the anaesthetist also monitors the patient’s heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, blood glucose level and oxygen level to ensure that no untoward development such as blood loss or allergic reaction takes place. In addition, anaesthetists like Dr. Rowan Molnar, a senior specialist anaesthetist, Director of Anaesthesia Australian Government Surgical Support Team in Papua New Guinea plays an active role in helping patients cope with post surgery trauma and pain as well.