Undergoing a procedure, which requires a cut necessitates ‘anaesthesia’ however small or big the procedure is. The pain and stress response due to the cut can impact the recovery after the surgery or medical procedure. Therefore, the goal of anaesthesia is to keep the patient safe and comfortable during the procedure or surgery.
Anaesthesia is defined as temporary loss of any bodily sensation and pain. It can involve a simple local anaesthetic injection, which numbs a particular area or drugs that can cause unconsciousness, also known as general anaesthesia. The expert doctor trained in this area is called an anaesthesiologist, who is responsible for the comfort, safety and overall condition before, during and after the surgery or procedure.
While the role of oncologists and oncosurgeons is fairly understood, many may not know how anaesthesia or an anaesthesiologist plays a significant role in the perioperative management of cancer patients to facilitate the overall outcome of cancer prognosis besides pre-operative care, multidisciplinary cancer care, post-operative pain management and early return to the intended oncological therapy (RIOT).
Anaesthetics are either given as an injection, intravenously, inhaled gas, topical spray, patch or even as a liquid.
Types of Anaesthesia
1. Local Anaesthesia:
This type of anaesthesia is recommended for numbing a particular region of the body, like a biopsy. The patient stays awake and is aware of everything going around.
2. Regional Anaesthesia:
Regional anaesthesia blocks pain in larger parts of the body like arms, legs or everything below the waist. Though the patient is awake during the procedure, cannot move or feel anything in the numbed region, till the effect of anaesthesia wears off.
3. General Anaesthesia:
Highly recommended and preferred during major surgeries, general anaesthesia blocks painful sensation, awareness across the body. The patient remains unconscious throughout the procedure and would gain back senses as the impact of anaesthetics slowly wears out.
Anaesthesiology Unit at HCG
HCG has a team of expert anaesthesiologists, who are trained exclusively in the field of onco anaesthesia and in handling complex, high-risk surgeries performed on cancer patients. These expert doctors are adept in managing cancer patients from preoperative care, intraoperative management to post-operative critical care and pain management. This is achieved by implementing ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)’ and precision onco anaesthesia specific to cancer, which in turn reduces the hospital stay and supports early return to work.
With complete pain relief topping their priority, they ensure comfort, faster recovery be it a biopsy or major invasive surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why will I need anaesthesia for cancer treatment?
Anaesthesia is administered for numbing the pain and making the patient sleep while performing minimally invasive or invasive procedures like biopsy and surgery. It can either be local anaesthesia, general anaesthesia or regional anaesthesia, depending on the procedure. Anaesthesia can be given as an injection, IV or even as a pill or liquid, in case of deep sedation.
2. Are anaesthetics safe?
Being on anaesthetics while undergoing an invasive procedure is safe. However, all invasive procedures come with some amount of risk. The expert anaesthetist keeps an eye on the vitals of the patient including heart rate, blood pressure fluctuations, breathing, oxygen levels and allergic reactions, and adjusts the dosage accordingly. Senior adults are also at the risk of delirium or confusion post-procedure and would require extra care till the impact of anaesthetics diminishes.
3. Are there any long term side effects associated with anaesthesia administration?
Getting administered with anaesthesia is very safe; however, few patients may complain of nausea, dry mouth, sore throat, body aches, dizziness which will go away over 24 hours. Rarely, few patients can experience delirium or confusion, difficulty in remembering things for up to a week.