What are the risks of anesthesia?
A natural concern is whether the anesthesia will cause any harm. Even
though anesthesia today is much safer than it has ever been, all
anesthesia has an element of risk. In fact, sometimes it is difficult to
separate the risks of anesthesia from the risks of the operation itself.
Anesthesia aims to take away the pain and discomfort of surgery and
make it easier for a procedure to be accomplished optimally, and these
benefits must be weighed against the risks of anesthesia itself.
The specific risks of anesthesia will vary with the type of operation and
whether it is an emergency, the age of the patient, and any other problems
or illnesses that exist. Also, each type of anesthetic has a specific set of
risks and side effects associated with it. The anesthesiologist will talk to
you about the various types of anesthesia that may be used, and the risks
and benefits (advantages and disadvantages) of each.