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General anesthesia

General anesthesia may be divided into three phases:

Induction of anesthesia

Before administering medication you will receive pure oxygen through a mask to ensure optimum supply of oxygen to the body.

Thereafter you will receive a rapid-acting analgesic and soporific agent through a venous access; it starts to take effect in a few seconds. You will fall into a deep numb sleep, and will not perceive any further measures. Your own respiration will reduce and you will have to be ventilated. Ventilation and protection of your respiratory tract will be achieved through a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) or a so-called laryngeal mask. Artificial ventilation will be ensured by the use of modern ventilation devices. The anesthetist will monitor and safeguard your depth of breathing and respiration rate, and will monitor the composition of your breath gas and the anesthetic gas.

Maintenance of anesthesia

Over the entire period of anesthesia you will be in a state of deep sleep in combination with reliable elimination of pain. The latter will be maintained by continued administration of anesthetic drugs (inhalation anesthesia or intravenous anesthesia).

In addition to the depth of anesthesia the anesthetist will monitor all vital organ functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen content of blood, respiration, etc.

Some operations may require the administration of blood products. The anesthetist is responsible for establishing the indication and administering transfusions. We ensure optimal regulation of anesthesia by close interdisciplinary cooperation between the surgeon and the anesthetist.

Removal of anesthesia

The administration of the anesthetic drug will be terminated at the end of the operation and you will wake up shortly afterwards as if you were awakening from a deep sleep. The ventilation tube will be removed as soon as you start to breathe adequately. You will probably not be able to recall this point in time.

You will then be shifted to the recovery room, where you will be monitored for a while by a team of nurses and anesthetists before being transferred to your ward.

Risks of general anesthesia

No medical intervention is devoid of risk, but by ensuring the constant presence of the anesthetist and continuous monitoring methods we can minimize the risk of serious incidents.

During the anesthesia preparation we will inform you about your individual risk of anesthesia after careful perusal of your medical records.

A basic distinction must be made between complications and side effects that occur at every intervention and those that typically occur during specific procedures.

Side effects like nausea, vomiting, throat pain or hoarseness can treated well with drugs and generally resolve rapidly.