Anesthesia is the process which is applied usually before surgical interventions and provides insensitivity of the body, in whole or in part, towards pain.
The body has a communication network consisting of billions of nerve cells connected to the brain and the spinal cord. Continuously changing signals from the outer world are sent to the brain through this network. Those signals are examined and interpreted as senses, perceptions, thoughts or movements. With the application of local, regional or general anesthesia, signals of pain are intercepted at a point and the brain is prevented from sensing the pain.
We can accept our brain as the main switchboard, the nerve network in the body as phone cables and the region of our body as the phone device. Sending the signals to the brain is blocked, and therefore perception of the pain is hampered by unplugging the phone device in local anesthesia, by cutting off the cables which connect that particular region in regional anesthesia, and by temporarily deactivating the operator by use of medicine used as operators in general anesthesia. As a result, anesthesia is a convenience which allows all types of surgical intervention to be made while keeping all the balances of the body within physiological limits.
Specialty in anesthesia is obtained at the end of a period focusing on anesthesia, intensive care and pain, which lasts at least four years after the six-year medical school education. The anesthetist receives intensive education in subjects of intensive care, pain treatment, trauma, internal diseases, cardiology and pharmacology together with anesthesia applications. Responsibilities of the anesthetist can be collected under three titles: We can define the first one as examining the patient and preparing for operation. The other two of the responsibilities are performing the anesthesia during the operation keeping all the body indicators of the patient within normal limits and giving the required treatment, and providing the patient with a painless and comfortable post-surgical period.
Before the application of anesthesia, the patient whose vital functions, such as heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body oxygen and respiratory rate, are observed, is always under the monitoring of the anesthetist. The anesthetist, who always makes medicine and dose adjustment for the continuity of the anesthesia, also keeps within the physiological limits all the patient’s body functions which may show instantaneous changes to the applications and treatments due to the anesthesia, surgical intervention and stress.
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