One concern for older patients is that the aging brain is more vulnerable to anesthesia, medication that prevents you from feeling pain during surgery often by sedating you or making you lose consciousness.
Raskin, it takes longer for an older person’s body to rid itself of the chemicals involved in anesthesia, which can prolong the negative effects of these drugs. Because of this, many seniors report feeling foggy, slow or downright confused for days, weeks or even months after a surgical procedure.
Recent studies have found that general anesthesia when used on the elderly, can increase the risk of dementia and the development of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
Most people won’t experience any long-term side effects. However, older adults are more likely to experience side effects that last more than a couple of days. This may include: Postoperative delirium.
The following are possible complications of general anesthesia:
Studies in people They found that general anaesthesia was associated with higher risks of dementia. The older the person when they had surgery the more likely they were to have a higher risk of dementia. The researchers suggested that older brains could be less resistant to damage caused by anaesthesia.
Anesthetic drugs can stay in your system for up to 24 hours. If you’ve had sedation or regional or general anesthesia, you shouldn’t return to work or drive until the drugs have left your body. After local anesthesia, you should be able to resume normal activities, as long as your healthcare provider says it’s okay.
The risk of dementia increased in patients who received intravenous or intramuscular anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia and general anaesthesia. The results of our nationwide, population-based study suggest that patients who undergo anaesthesia and surgery may be at increased risk of dementia.
Not Age Alone Patients ages 70 and older tolerated the procedure well, with complication rates similar to those of younger patients, according to the review of evidence. Patients’ overall medical well-being and physical status had more impact than their age on their risk from general anesthesia.
Conclusions. The risk for patients aged over 90 years having an elective procedure differs significantly in the short term from those having emergency surgery. In selected cases, elective surgery carries an acceptable mortality risk.
And along with common potential side effects from anesthesia during surgery such as nausea, chills or muscle aches and itching, older patients are at risk for confusion or short-term memory loss. But rest assured, there are steps seniors can take to minimize these side effects.
General anesthesia causes you to become unconscious. This type of anesthesia, while very safe, is the type most likely to cause side effects and to carry risks. Most side effects are minor and temporary, such as nausea, vomiting, chills, confusion for a few days, and a sore throat caused by a breathing tube.