Busting myths related to spinal anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia or spinal block is the most effective and widely used form of anesthesia during different surgical procedures. Spinal anesthesia is given directly into the spinal cord of the patient, and it numbs the entire area of the body below the site of injection. According to the Dr. Keshavkumar, Anesthetist, Apollo Clinic Kotturpuram, Chennai spinal anesthesia is safer than general anesthesia. Also, it allows the patient to maintain a sense of control while remaining completely pain-free during the surgery.

However, myths swirling around spinal anesthesia create unnecessary anxiety to the patients.

Here are few misconceptions surrounding spinal anesthesia that you ought to know to clear up any persistent confusion.

Myth 1:

Spinal anesthesia shows a negative effect on sexual potency.

Fact: Spinal anesthesia does not affect one’s ability to reproduce, have an erection or have intercourse. Any problems related to sexual health following a spinal anesthesia can be due to any other reasons.

Myth 2:

The effect of anesthesia is less if the surgery is minor.

Fact: The impact of spinal anesthesia during any surgery is same (no matter whether it is a minor or major surgery). The main aim of spinal anesthesia is to take out the pain associated and keep the patient relaxed while surgery.

Myth 3:

An overdose of anesthesia results in many complications.

Fact: Incidences of an overdose of spinal anaesthesia are very rare and can be observed in only 0.2% patients. Spinal anesthesia is a very safe method of anesthesia and complications occurring during surgery may depend on various factors like surgery type, duration and general health condition of the patient.

Myth 4:

Spinal anesthesia causes severe back pain in later life:

Fact: Back pain is the most common misconception related to spinal anesthesia. Spinal block myths keep the pregnant women away or worried about pain management injections in labor. After many studies, researchers have confirmed that there is no incidence or evidence supporting this statement. In fact, spinal anesthesia during labor is advisable to deliver the baby safely.

Myth 5:

Anesthesiologists are just technicians!

Fact: Non-medical people believe that anesthesiologists are not doctors but just operators or paramedics. This is a common and ambiguous statement as they are extensively trained, medical experts. For an Anesthesiologist, to begin his career as Anesthesiologist, he/she must complete basic five-year degree in medicine, 2-3 years of post-graduation in the department of anesthesia and an internship like other department physicians. So, they are not just technicians but successfully and perfectly trained medical specialists.

Myth 6:

Anesthesiologists will not stay in the operating room during surgery as soon as the patient goes off sleep.

Fact: Anesthesiologists plays a major role in operation theater during surgery. His/her job is not just injecting anesthesia to the patient and leave the room. Anesthesiologists have the complete control over surgery in progress. They keep on checking the patient’s stability and condition during surgery. Anesthesia and surgery go hand in hand while surgery is going on.

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