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What is Anesthesia and How Does it Work? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Anesthesia and How Does it Work?

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During many medical procedures, anesthesia is required to put patients to sleep so doctors can do their work. 

"Anesthesia means basically lack of feeling or lack of pain," said Dr. Angela Amin, an anesthesiologist with Albemarle Anesthesia, PLC. 

During general anesthesia, pain medications, muscle relaxants, amnesic medicines and anesthesia gases often work together to put the patient into a state of unconsciousness. 

"Anesthesia has really allowed us to do surgeries that would not have been able to be done," comment Dr. Amin. 

While it might sound intimidating, anesthesiologists say that while it is normal to be nervous, you will feel like you are taking a nap while your anesthesiologist works to maintain your normal body functions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. 

In addition, doctors observe patients through the duration of each procedure to make sure they receive proper doses of medication and remain comfortable. 

"There is no one standard patient so we are titrating the anesthetic to a certain patient," said Dr. Amin. 

Patients wake up shortly after the procedure is over. While everyone has a slightly different reaction, doctors say a fuzzy memory isn't unusual and typically patients are surprised at how quickly the time has passed. 

Our job is to get you off to sleep, to have a painless experience during surgery and to wake you up, that's what we do day in and day out," said Dr. Amin. 

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. 

If you have a health question you'd like to have answered, email healthquestions@nbc29.com

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