If you’re going to be going through a surgery and require anesthesia, it’s important that the person working on your case is well-informed about your health, weight and medical conditions. Anesthesia can lead to brain damage if errors are made, which is why it’s so vital for the anesthesiologist to be well-prepared to work with you.
Anesthesia can lead to brain damage, but the risk is so rare that not many people discuss it. As a patient, you should know that the risk of dying from anesthesia is around 1 out of 100,000 people. The risk of brain damage is so rare that there is no specific statistic for it.
How is brain damage caused by anesthesia?
Brain damage is caused when brain cells are damaged or die. This can happen because of a number of factors, but with anesthesia, the main cause is oxygen deprivation.
There are two primary reasons why patients end up with brain damage from anesthesia. These include:
- Having a stroke during anesthesia
- Hypoxia from anesthesia
Strokes happen when a blood clot blocks the blood from flowing into the brain. Hypoxia occurs when oxygen can’t get into the brain because there isn’t enough in the blood, such as because a breathing tube has been inserted incorrectly.
What do anesthesiologists do to prevent complications?
To prevent complications, your anesthesiologist should speak with you before your surgery. They will ask you questions about your general health, allergies, medications and other pieces of information about yourself that may help them during your operation.
The anesthesiologist stays with you the entire operation, monitoring you throughout. They will make adjustments as needed to keep you comfortable, healthy and asleep.
Is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of brain damage?
With regard to anesthesia, there is little a patient can do to prevent injury. However, if you have time before your surgery, you can eat healthier, lose weight, control any health issues you have and stop smoking. These changes make it less likely that your surgery will have complications, which means that you have a better chance of making it through surgery in good health.