About General Anesthesia

General anesthesia or ‘going to sleep’ is a common option for certain surgical procedures. It is not usually a ‘first choice’ option for childbirth but may be required in emergency circumstances.

General anesthesia is administered to the patient by injection or inhalation. Combinations of inhaled gas and injected drugs are usually given together.

General anesthesia begins with a process called induction. Induction usually involves an injection. The medication will make you go to sleep. After the initial injection, anesthesia is maintained with inhaled anesthesia gases along with other drugs given through on IV.

Inhaled gas anesthetics are dispensed from a machine to the patient through a face mask or breathing tube inserted into the airway through the mouth or nose. Except for unusual circumstances, the breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is positioned after the patient is already sleep and removed prior to full recorvery of consciousness.