BP Basics

High blood pressure and anesthesia

Anesthesia is a medical practice which refers to the use of  medicinal formulae or drugs for suppressing the pain  sensing capability of the central nervous system or inducing controlled  unconsciousness while performing a surgical procedure.

 Most commonly anesthesia is given using a combination of gases through the respiratory system or injecting medicines through veins. The muscles relax and the patient doesn’t feel the anything during the surgery.

Though anesthesia is applied by experts known as anesthesiologist there are certain  risks involved when using these drugs. If patients have heart problems or other complication like high blood pressure, these drugs are administered with a great degree of caution.

High blood pressure and anesthesia are not very compatible. Anesthesia can even increase the blood pressure of a normal individual who does not suffer from any blood pressure problem. There  are some regional anesthesias which can reduce the normal blood pressure in the body.

Why anesthesia increases blood pressure?

Anesthesia when injected or induced through respiratory tract tends to create a condition called ischemia. In this condition  the heart lacks oxygen and pumps faster to get  more oxygen from the blood supply.

This in turn increases the pressure of the blood in the arteries and a rise in blood pressure.  Some times ischemia may lead to heart attack in the patient. For this reason the doctors take the utmost care while inducing anesthesia..

The drugs are injected very gradually with constant monitoring of vital signs. If anesthesia is induced very fast it brings about unconsciousness at a rate whish is faster than the body can adapt to and this may cause undesirable consequences.
For emergency operations the anesthesia is induced very fast. In that condition the risk has to be taken to save the life of the patient. The doctors then carry the out the operation keeping track of the patient’s vital signs and try their best to pull the patient through the ordeal.