What You Need to Know about Anesthesia and Spine Surgery

Anesthesia and Spine Surgery in Santa Monica, CA

Regardless of what type of surgery you’re having, there’s usually a concern about anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used for spine surgery depends on the specific procedure, with choices usually including general anesthesia (you’re asleep), local anesthesia (numbing of a specific part of the body) or regional anesthesia (numbing a general area of the body).

Knowing a few things about anesthesia beforehand can give you one less thing to worry about when scheduling spine surgery at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration.

Anesthesia Has a High Safety Rate

The types of anesthesia typically used for spine surgery have a high safety rate. You’ll be carefully observed by a trained anesthesiologist who will monitor things like breathing, heart rate and blood pressure during the procedure while your spine surgeon concentrates on their work.

Some OTC Medications May Interfere with Your Anesthesia

Some medications (especially NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen) may interfere with the anesthesia. For this reason, it’s important to mention any non-prescription, over-the-counter medications that you may be taking during the initial meeting with your anesthesiologist prior to your spine surgery.

Note: Certain herbal supplements may affect heart rate and blood pressure and increase the risk of bleeding in some patients.

Cigarette Smoking, Drinking and Other Potential Risk Factors

In addition to possibly affecting your recovery time following spine surgery, cigarette smoking (nicotine in particular) and a history of alcohol consumption can cause changes within your lungs, heart, liver and blood that may affect how you react to anesthesia. An experienced anesthesiologist can adjust concentration levels to compensate for such factors. Anesthesia can also be affected by:

  • Preexisting medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, heart problems, arthritis)
  • Allergies (especially to certain drugs and foods)
  • Use of street drugs (all conversations between surgeons and anesthesiologist are kept confidential – and not reporting this may cause potentially serious interactions with anesthesia drugs)

Whether you’re going in for a minimally invasive spine surgery or an open surgery, anesthesia will be a part of your experience, and it’s important to be aware and comfortable about what is going to take place. In addition to providing you with peace of mind, having confidence in your procedure can play a part in a successful outcome.

For more information about spine surgeries or to request an in-person consultation at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, call 310-828-7757 today.