The word “anesthesia,” which has entered our language from French, means numbing or desensitization. With the anesthesia process, the patient’s consciousness is shut down for the duration of the surgery. The patient does not remember anything, and their muscles are completely numbed. Thus, the operation proceeds in the most comfortable way possible.

What is General Anesthesia?

General anesthesia is a deep sedation process applied in surgical operations to prevent the patient from feeling negative sensations such as pain, suffering, or noise. General anesthesia also provides a comfortable recovery period for the patient by preventing the feeling of pain for a while after the operation.

How is General Anesthesia Applied?

In general anesthesia, drugs that prevent the sensation of pain are administered to the patient through intravenous or inhalation routes. The anesthesia process from start to finish is carried out by anesthesiologists who are experts in this field. The anesthesiologist stays at the patient’s side throughout the operation, monitoring and controlling vital parameters such as heart function, respiration, and blood pressure. The stages of general anesthesia application are as follows:


Firstly, the anesthesiologist asks the patient questions about their medical history, age, medications they have previously taken, and any allergies. The purpose of this is to minimize the risks during the operation.

  • The patient is taken to the operating room, and drugs that block pain are administered either intravenously or through the respiratory tract.
  • The patient loses consciousness and enters a deep sleep phase.
  • A tube is inserted into the patient’s mouth to ensure sufficient oxygen intake and to relax the muscles of the windpipe. This tube also prevents blood or stomach secretions from filling the patient’s lungs.
  • The surgery phase begins. At this stage, the anesthesiologist continuously monitors the patient and administers necessary medications to control respiration, blood pressure, and temperature values. These values must be kept stable throughout the operation.
  • After the operation is completed, the anesthesiologist gradually discontinues the medications to wake the patient up. Following this phase, the patient is taken to the recovery room. Here, they are kept at an ideal temperature, given medication against nausea and pain, and after fully regaining consciousness, they are moved to their room.

Things to Consider Before General Anesthesia

In situations where general anesthesia is required, there are certain rules to follow starting before arriving at the hospital to complete the operation with the least risk possible:

  • Patients should not eat for eight hours before the operation. Otherwise, food or liquid in the stomach could enter the lungs during general anesthesia, which could lead to life-threatening situations. Diabetic patients should consult the hospital on how long they should fast.
  • If any medications are being used, information should be obtained during pre-operative consultations on how these should be taken.
  • Smoking is advised against before and on the day of the operation as it reduces the oxygen level in the blood.
  • Getting enough sleep the night before the operation is important to reduce anxiety levels on the day of the operation.
  • Metal jewelry, watches, piercings, glasses, dentures, and hearing aids should be removed during general anesthesia.
  • During routine checks before anesthesia, various questions are asked, from the patient’s date of birth to the last time they ate or drank, about allergies, and medication use. These questions should be answered carefully and clearly.
  • The possible common and rare risks of anesthesia should be explained in detail to the patient during the pre-operative consultation. Patients should ask the anesthesiologist any questions they have.
  • If the patient has anxiety, fear of surgery and/or anesthesia, this can cause the veins to constrict due to anxiety, making it difficult to establish intravenous access. In such cases, sufficient information, relaxation exercises, and good doctor-patient communication should be provided to relax the patient before the operation.

Undergoing surgery and receiving general anesthesia, especially for the first time, is a stressful situation for many people. Patients with a good doctor, anesthesiologist, and healthcare team around them get through this anxious process more comfortably. Op. Dr. Sedat Baş, with his extensive experience and expert team, performs successful operations in the field of plastic surgery. If you are going to have a cosmetic operation, you can also check here for detailed information about what you need to do before the operation.