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Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain felt during a procedure. For this procedure, the two most commonly used are spinal and general anesthesia. You will be given one of the two types.
With spinal anesthesia, your anesthesiologist will inject medicine into your lower back. This will cause you to feel numb usually from the base of your rib cage down. To make the placement of the needle easier, you will be asked to either lie on your side curled up or to sit on the side of the table hunched forward. During the procedure, you will also receive medicine that makes you feel relaxed or sleepy. Although the spinal anesthesia will take away all sensation of pain, you might still feel some pressure and movement during the procedure.
The other option is general anesthesia. This type uses medication to put you into a deep sleep so that you do not feel any pain, pressure, or movement during the procedure. In order to do this, you will first be asked to breathe through an oxygen mask. Then you will be given medications through your IV, which will cause you to feel pleasantly relaxed and quickly drift off to sleep. After you are in a deep sleep, a breathing tube will be placed into your windpipe to assist with your breathing throughout the operation. Your anesthesia care team will give you other medications as required during your procedure through your IV.
There are many risks and side effects that can happen with anesthesia. It is important that you talk with your anesthesiologist before the surgery. Be sure and tell him or her about any allergies or health conditions you have. This will help the anesthesiologist know how to take care of you during the surgery and if you will need any special attention.
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