Understanding the Role of Local Anesthesia

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Understanding the Role of Local Anesthesia
Understanding the Role of Local Anesthesia

You may feel scared or worried when you find out that you need to be given a local anesthetic when you are about to have a minor (minor) surgery. So that you don't panic and better understand that it's actually safe to use local anesthesia for minor surgeries, you should refer to the following explanation

The administration of local anesthesia for minor surgeries, such as tooth extraction and skin biopsy, aims to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure. The difference with general anesthesia, you remain conscious when the anesthetic has been given.

Understand the Role of Local Anesthesia - Alodokter

Local anesthetics work by preventing the nerves in the operated area from communicating the sensation of pain to the brain. That way, you don't feel pain when the operation is performed.

Advantages of Local Anesthesia over General Anesthesia

General anesthesia can cause more severe side effects, such as nausea. In addition, if you are given general anaesthesia, the doctor will also have to monitor your condition during the surgical procedure and some time after it.

While under local anesthesia, side effects of nausea are less common and monitoring is generally not required. In fact, local anesthesia allows for many surgical procedures to be performed quickly. It also requires less preparation and shorter recovery time.

Not only that, with local anesthesia, the costs incurred are also more affordable than general anesthesia.

Types of Local Anesthesia and Their Indications for Minor Surgery

Based on the method of administration, local anesthetics are divided into two types, namely topical local anesthetics and injectable local anesthetics. Here is the explanation:

Topical local anesthetic

Topical local anesthetics are usually applied to your skin or mucous membranes, such as the inside of your mouth, nose, or throat. This type of anesthetic can also be applied to the surface of the eye. Topical local anesthetics can be found in the form of liquids, creams, gels, sprays, and patches.

Some of the procedures that require a topical local anesthetic are:

  • Suture of the wound or removal of sutures
  • Installation of the catheter
  • Action with laser
  • cataract surgery
  • Endoscopy

Injectable local anesthetic

Injectable local anesthetic is used to numb certain areas of the body during surgical procedures, and is administered by injection. Minor operations that may be performed under local anesthetic injection include:

  • Stitching the wound
  • Flesh piercing fingernails
  • Skin biopsy
  • Removal of lumps under the skin
  • Mole or wart removal
  • Dental treatment, such as root canal

Preparation and Procedure for Local Anesthesia

You don't need to do much preparation if you are going to undergo minor surgery under local anesthesia. However, be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • Has an open wound near the area to be operated on
  • Are taking any supplements or medications, especially those that increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin
  • Has a bleeding disorder

If the doctor has decided to operate under local anesthesia, you will be given this anesthetic shortly before the operation. Even though the area of ​​your body that is being sedated will be numb, you can still feel a sensation of pressure during the operation.

Local anesthetic can be given by applying it to the skin or by injecting it into the area where the surgery will be performed. When injected, a local anesthetic is generally administered with several small injections.

A few minutes after the local anesthetic is given, the area will be completely numb. However, if the anesthetized area still has sensation, tell the doctor so that an additional injection or topical anesthetic can be given to make sure the area to be operated on is completely numb.

The local anesthetic usually wears off within 1 hour, but it can take longer than that. When the effect wears off, you may feel a tingling or twitching sensation in the area where the anesthetic was applied.

You need to be careful and pay more attention to the area that has been given a local anesthetic. This is because it is very easy to accidentally injure a numb area within a few hours of the operation being completed.

Side Effects of Local Anesthesia

Local anesthetics are generally safe and do not cause serious side effects, except for tingling. However, if too many injections of local anesthetic are given, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Ear ringing
  • Dizzy
  • Twitch in the anesthetic area
  • Metal taste in mouth

In very rare cases, giving high doses of local anesthetics can cause more serious side effects, such as:

  • Seizure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart rate slows down
  • Respiratory disorders

Allergy to drugs is a rare condition, but not impossible. If after being given the anesthetic you experience any of the allergy symptoms or side effects above, tell your doctor immediately so they can be treated as soon as possible.

Written by:

dr. Sonny Seputra, M.Ked.Klin, Sp.B, FINACS(Surgeon Specialist)

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