Side Effects of General Anesthesia in Senior Patients

There's always a risk anytime surgery is involved. However, for older relatively healthy senior patients (60 years and older) these risks can include cognitive impairment after undergoing anesthesia. Studies show a 35%- 50% increase in permanent brain changes and dementia in seniors after general anesthesia. Cognitive impairment can be mild to moderate after surgery and might clear up within a few months.

The problem is called Post-Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD). Although the term is relatively new, the problem has been noticed since the 1950’s. Some studies show that older patients’ exposure to general anesthesia can increase the risk of dementia and POCD can be tracked to the onset of dementia years later.

Older patients do not metabolize as quickly, therefore chemicals stay in the body longer, although it has not been determined exactly why senior patients are so affected by anesthesia. Side effects of anesthesia can also complicate health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Why take the risk, as an older patient, of being affected by anesthesia. Dementia is possible and at times patients do not come out of their cognitive impairment after surgery. If you are considering surgery for neck or back conditions, call Busch Chiropractic first at (260) 471-4090 to discuss your own personal condition and the successful nonsurgical DRS Protocol™.

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