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Common questions about anesthesia

Common questions about anesthesia

Is there anything that I should be careful of when undergoing anesthesia?

Talk to your anesthesiologist about any concerns you may have. He or she will examine you before anesthesia. If you have a past or familial medical history of problems that might be related to anesthesia, particularly an allergy to anesthetics or other substances, be sure that you tell the anesthesiologist beforehand. The anesthesiologist will also tell you other things to pay attention to, such as dietary restrictions before anesthesia. Please be sure to follow these instructions.

Are there any requirements to become an anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists refer to both fully JSA Board Certified Anesthesiologists and registered anesthesiologists. Physicians can apply for registered anesthesiologist status to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare after 2 years of training under Fellow of JSA, an anesthesiology-specialist physician.  After another 3 years of training, they can apply to take the qualifying examination and become specialized physicians after passing.  The qualifying examination for anesthesiology specialists is given by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists.

What should patients look for when anesthesia is necessary?

Check whether the physician administering anesthesia is specialized in anesthesiology and whether the hospital at which you are undergoing surgery has been certified by JSA as a registered anesthesia training institutions.

What is the difference between local and general anesthesia?

Anesthesia is roughly divided into 2 types: general anesthesia for the whole body and local anesthesia for a part of the body, such as the lower half of the body.

What types of anesthetics are there?

Inhalation anesthetics are taken in when breathing and venous anesthetics are injected through a vein. The anesthesiologist makes important decisions for each patient based on his or her individual needs regarding the selection of the most appropriate anesthetic and method of application of that anesthetic.

Tell me about local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is usually given for small procedures or surgeries. Local spinal anesthesia (anesthesia of the lower half of the body by injection into the lower back) is used for surgery for diseases in regions lower than the navel (gynecological diseases, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, and lower limb fractures). Local anesthetics are injected into the surgical site or an area near nerves transmitting pain sensation from the surgical area. If needed, sleep can be induced in patients during local anesthesia with an intravenous injection of a sleep-inducing drug. In continuous epidural anesthesia, a thin tube is placed near the target nerve(s) and local anesthetics are continuously or intermittently infused. This procedure is particularly useful for analgesic treatment after surgery since anesthetics can be injected through the tube even after surgery.

Tell me about general anesthesia.

General anesthesia is used for abdominal, thoracic, and brain surgery. Inhalation anesthetics and intravenous drugs are used in various combinations. General anesthesia is usually used for children up to junior high school, except for treatment of small injuries. General anesthesia is often used for surgery in regions below the neck.