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Before your joint replacement surgery, your doctor will discuss anesthesia with you.

Although it may seem trivial, using the proper anesthesia is an important decision that could affect your recovery.

Anesthesia types

Most joint replacement surgeries are performed with one of two anesthesia types:
  • General anesthesia
    General anesthesia affects the entire body, putting you into a deep sleep. Because it slows the heart and breathing rates, your blood pressure, breathing and body temperature are continually monitored during surgery. General anesthesia causes your blood vessels to open, raising the risk of more blood loss during your procedure.
  • Regional anesthesia
    In joint replacement surgery, the two most common forms of regional anesthesia are epidurals and spinal blocks. Epidurals are given through a small tube in your lower back. In a spinal block, the anesthesia is injected into the fluid around the spinal cord in your lower back.

The main advantages of regional anesthesia are less blood loss during surgery and fewer complications from blood clotting after surgery.

Factors to consider

Before deciding on which anesthesia is right for you, several factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Your past experience with anesthesia, including negative reactions.
  • Your physical condition and overall health. Are you a smoker or overweight? Do you use recreational drugs?
  • Your reaction to other medications, including allergies and side effects.

To learn more, call 714-456-7012 or schedule an appointment online ›

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