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Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - What it is

​What you need to know about Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
This article aims to help you and your family understand what anaesthesia is and to allow you to participate in making well-informed decisions about your care.


Who is the anaesthesiologist?
An anaesthesiologist is a specialist whose primary responsibility is to ensure your safety and well-being during the surgery, and yours has been assigned to the operating theatre where you will undergo the scheduled operation. Your anaesthesiologist will administer anaesthesia before the surgery commences and stay with you throughout the surgery to ensure your safety and comfort. During this time, your critical life functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature will be monitored, as these will be affected by the surgery. The anaesthesiologist also plays the critical role of diagnosing and treating any medical problems immediately that may arise during your surgery or recovery period.

When will I meet my anaesthesiologist?
In general, your anaesthesiologist will meet you in the ward the day before your surgery. If you are admitted on the day of your operation, your anaesthesiologist will meet you before your surgery. During this meeting, the anaesthesiologist will carefully evaluate your medical history, perform a physical examination and review all laboratory tests to ensure that it is safe for you to undergo the surgery. In addition, the anaesthesiologist will explain to you the type of anaesthesia that is suitable for your surgery.

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Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - How to prevent?

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Causes and Risk Factors

What are the types of anaesthesia?
1. General Anaesthesia
You will be rendered unconscious and have no awareness or sensation during the entire surgery. Heart surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.

2. Regional Anaesthesia
Your anaesthesiologist will inject local anaesthetic solution near a group of nerves to numb the part of your body that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or be given a sedative.

3. Local Anaesthesia
Some minor surgeries may only require injection of a local anaesthetic into the skin and tissues to numb the area where surgery is to be performed. Your anaesthesiologist, in consultation with the surgeon, will determine the most appropriate form of anaesthesia, taking into consideration your medical condition as well as your desires.

Your anaesthesiologist, in consultation with the surgeon, will determine the most appropriate form of anaesthesia, taking into consideration your medical condition as well as your desires.

What are the side effects and complications of anaesthesia?
Some common side effects that you may experience after anaesthesia include nausea, vomiting, sore throat, headache, giddiness, shivering, body aches and itching.

Less common complications include damage to teeth, lips and tongue, and hoarseness of voice. 
Extremely rare complications would include awareness during general anaesthesia, serious allergy to anaesthetic drugs, damage to eyes and nerves, and death.

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Diagnosis

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Treatments

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Preparing for surgery

What does my anaesthesiologist do during my surgery?
Your anaesthesiologist’s primary responsibility is your well-being and safety throughout your operation. When the surgery is in progress, your anaesthesiologist will be by your side at all times to monitor your vital functions such as heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, breathing and body temperature. He is also responsible for replacing be given medication to treat pain during anaesthesia so that you will remain comfortable during and after surgery.

After your heart surgery, you will not regain consciousness immediately. Instead you will be transferred to the Cardiothoracic Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) for observation and stabilisation. For operations which may not require you to be admitted to CTICU, you will regain consciousness after your operation. You will then be transferred to the Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where your anaesthesiologist continues to be responsible for your care. He will ensure that your vital functions are normal and that you recover from the effects of anaesthesia. He will also manage any problems that may arise postoperatively.

Most people are apprehensive about surgery or anaesthesia. Speak to your anaesthesiologist to discuss any concerns you may have. Your anaesthesiologist wants to make your surgery and anaesthetic experience as safe and pleasant as possible.

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Post-surgery care

Anaesthesia for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery - Other Information

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