We must not only think about the need to "put the patient to sleep" when using general anesthesia, but also about the need to control pain.
"Counts up to ten". This is the phrase you hear a person say when they are about to enter the operating room and the anesthesia process begins. However, it is almost never possible to complete the assigned task. Often, after a few seconds, sleep takes hold of the body, the eyelids become tremendously heavy and isolates us from the outside world so that the surgeon's scalpel can perform its function. The important thing, the experts recall, is that the treatment is targeted and specific for each person, as Roberta Monzani of Humanitas in Milan recalls.
Men and women, "ad hoc" analgesia
We must not only think about the need to "sleep" the patient when practicing general anesthesia, but also about the need to avoid pain. This is a fundamental goal for anyone entering the operating room. "It is always necessary to do a targeted treatment on the person based on his condition and also on the sex, which is maintained for an adequate time – says the expert. Generally, men and women are not exactly overlapping in terms of analgesia, i.e. pain control. This is also important in terms of possible undesirable effects that may occur upon waking, such as nausea and vomiting, which are more frequent in women, especially in the case of operations on the abdomen ". For this reason, in the didactic sense, it is essential that the patient and family members understand the value of tailor-made anesthesia well. There are simpler interventions, even on the pain control front, and others that need to be monitored with great attention in this respect. An example? The need to implant a knee prosthesis, which is certainly particularly demanding in this sense. The important thing is that you do not feel pain and, when necessary, with the muscles made soft and malleable by the drugs derived from curare, which have precisely this function. In short, as the experts point out, we are faced with an exact science that adapts to the patient's condition and his anxieties. In this way, anesthesia can be modeled as if it were a dress designed to meet specific needs. For example, if a person is particularly agitated by the prospect of surgery, hospitalization the previous evening is always recommended to "start" the anesthesia many hours before, allowing the subject a truly relaxing rest. Then there is greater attention to the awakening phase, which today is managed and monitored with great caution. In addition, a post-operative analgesia protocol is created for each patient with the aim of preventing and treating the pain that occurs after surgery.
Finally, as the expert says, the cases in which one "wakes up" still on the operating bed are certainly anecdotal. “And perhaps, the studies go in this direction, there could be a sort of genetic predisposition to the phenomenon – reports Monzani. As for the muscles, "antidotes" can be practiced that counteract the possible prolonged action of curare derivatives allowing for faster recovery ". The curaric drug is the one that has the task of reducing muscle contraction, and generally the drug that relaxes the muscles has ceased its effects when the patient wakes up and begins to breathe independently. In any case, to be sure that it has finished its effect, a sort of "antidote" is made. "The important thing – concludes the expert – is to regularly monitor the situation to avoid unpleasant sensations upon awakening".