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Anesthesiology/Local anethesia and Asthama

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QUESTION: Hello

Sir I have asthama and sleep apnea. Sir my dentist said that before installation of braces in my teeth he need to extract 3-4 teeths and for this purpose he will inject local anethesia. Sir my question is that will it be be safe for a patient with asthama and sleep apnea to have local anethesia?

ANSWER: Yes. Local anesthesia is not a problem as it will just numb up the area he will be working on. You are at increased risk (because of your sleep apnea) if he wanted to use moderate or deep sedation. If all he is doing is local, you should not have any problem.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
UTMB-Galveston

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1) Sir by moderate or deep sedation you meant to say General Anesthesia?

2) Sir I have never undergone any kind of surgery in life ever and neither I have received local anesthesia ever nor general anesthesia ever, and this is the first time I am going under dental teeth extraction surgery , so which tests do you think are necessary to be conducted before teeth extraction surgery in order to avoid the complications of surgery?

3) Sir can a patient die because of Local Anesthesia?

ANSWER: No. Sedation is a deep sleep but you can still be aroused. General anesthesia is deeper. You are getting local which means you are completely awake but the gums are numb. There are no tests you need to do before surgery. As for dying from local, unless you have an allergic reaction (Extremely rare), there are very few complications from local anesthesia.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
UTMB-Galveston


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1) Sir if a person is allergic to local anesthesia, then what can be done to find out that whether he is allergic to local anesthesia or not? (before teeth extraction surgery)

2) Sir I have breathing issues, could not properly breath. My nasal bone is also deviated, in such situation which test do you think are necessary before having dental surgery? Also as I have never undergone any surgery or anesthesia ever in my life yet

3) Sir as I have breathing issues/asthama and sleep apnea so I shall not undergo sedation in your opinion?

3) Sir can a patient die because of General Anesthesia?

Answer
You are not allergic to local. It is extremely rare and even if you were, your first exposure would not be significant. You do not need any tests prior to the procedure and as long as the dentist knows about your sleep apnea, he will not give you too much sedation. Yes people can die from general anesthesia but it is extremely rare. Anesthesia is one of the safest of the medical specialties. You have a higher likelihood of being struck by lightning twice on the same day than dying from anesthesia.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
UTMB-Galveston  

Anesthesiology

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Ronald Levy, M.D.

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Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

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