Anesthesiology, or anesthesia, is the medical specialty that will prevent the patient from feeling pain during a surgical procedure or even in diagnostic tests, identifying and treating any changes in vital functions. The anesthetic act goes beyond simply taking the pain away or “putting you to sleep”. The anesthesiologist accompanies his patient during the surgery, keeping him under the effect of anesthetics in procedures that can last from a few minutes to several hours.
Anesthesia in the surgical treatment of cancer
In its early stages, cancer can be controlled or cured through surgical treatment, alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgery may have a curative purpose, especially when there is early detection of the tumor and its total or palliative removal is possible, when the objective is to reduce the amount of tumor cells or control symptoms that compromise the quality of the patient’s survival.
Surgery should always be performed under anesthesia, in an appropriate environment and with material and staff properly prepared for the intervention. The procedure will also consider technical aspects such as knowledge about the disease and its stage of development, since the complete removal of the tumor with care not to let the disease spread and the removal of all the places where the disease may have spread are essential for the surgical intervention to be successful.
Types of anesthesia
There are three types of anesthesia for performing oncological procedures, general, local and regional. The former has an effect on the entire body, rendering patients unconscious and unable to move. Surgeons use it when operating on internal organs and for other invasive or time-consuming procedures such as back surgery. Local anesthetics are used to block pain in a specific part of the body, such as a tooth. Regional anesthetics affect larger areas, such as an arm, a leg, or everything below the waist. There are several types of general, local and regional anesthetics, which last as long as the surgeon needs to do the job. The choice of anesthetic varies according to the time and type of operation, as well as the physical and emotional conditions of the patient. Therefore, the importance of the anesthesiologist, who is the professional specialized in this area.
Is anesthesia risky?
Risks are very rare. With instruments, techniques, knowledge and modern medicines, the anesthesiologist has all the tools to give safety to the patient during the procedure. Before surgery, the professional checks the patient’s clinical condition and health history, so it is important that the patient is honest and sincere with the doctor before a surgical procedure. It should be informed if you are allergic to certain medications, if you have problems such as asthma, bronchitis or high blood pressure, for example. In addition, you should also inform if you use other drugs, stimulants or anabolic steroids. It is worth remembering that the doctor has an obligation to maintain professional secrecy, so the patient should not be afraid or ashamed to speak up at this time.
What is recommended to do before a procedure with anesthesia?
- Fasting for at least eight hours before the operation (do not drink even water);
- If the patient uses dental prostheses, depending on the procedure, they will be removed;
- Do not use cosmetics or beauty products on the day of the operation;
- Do not wear jewelry, rings, bracelets, wristwatches, earrings. It is also important to remove pins, hairpins, wigs, false eyelashes and other unnecessary objects;
- Do not chew gum before surgery, as this causes increased air and juices in the stomach, which can cause vomiting after the operation;
- It is recommended to stop smoking at least 15 days before the procedure. If this is not possible, however, at most one cigarette, every 4 or 5 hours.
- Strictly follow the medical guidelines.
1 – [BRAZILIAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGY, ACCESSED ON 08/25/2021 >> https://www.sbahq.org/publico-em-geral/]
2 – [BRAZILIAN INSTITUTE OF CANCER, ACCESSED ON 08/26/2021 >> https://www.inca.gov.br/tratamento/cirurgia]
3 – [BRAZILIAN INSTITUTE OF CANCER, ACCESSED ON 08/26/2021 >> https://www.infoescola.com/medicina/anestesiologia/]