Two Common Misconceptions about Anesthesia

John Charles Gerancher previously served as professor in the department of anesthesiology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In addition, JC Gerancher oversaw the construction and implementation of a regional anesthesia section at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

One commonly held misconception about anesthetic drugs is that they put the body into deep sleep. In reality, it would be impossible to perform a highly invasive procedure on a sleeping patient. Anesthetic actually sends the body into a highly controlled, comatose state that doctors can reverse.

Many individuals are also under the impression that anesthesia is a chemical or medicine, when it is actually the state the body enters after anesthetic has been administered. Propofol is an anesthetic that puts the brain into a state of excitement before enacting the more traditional comatose, pain-free state.

Patients should always consult with their physicians and discuss the type of anesthetic being administered and its possible side effects.