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Number Of General Anesthesia Operations Per Year in the United States

Posted by Adam Pick on July 13th, 2008

Depending on who you talk to, general anesthesia is either one of the GREATEST or WORST parts of heart valve surgery.

I can see both sides. On one hand, general anesthesia is great because your pain receptors are numb. On the other hand, general anesthesia can be scary for patients because your brain and body are, quite frankly, paralyzed. Plus, there are many patients, nurses and doctors which suggest that general anesthesia may have some lingering effects on the brain and body that are not all positive.

As for me, I opted to value the benefits of general anesthesia during my aortic valve replacement. I am aware that some patients are now having open heart surgery while awake but, for me, I didn’t want that experience.

Recently, I was asked the question, “How many patients receive general anesthesia each year during any type of surgery?”

It’s an interesting question.

After doing some research, which included watching the movie “Awake” starring Jessica Alba, I learned that approximately 21 million patients will be under general anesthesia each year. FYI, that number is for all surgery types, not just cardiac-related operations.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


jerry says on July 13th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Oh man, I’m bummed that I’ll have to be awake during my angiogram. :)

Ted Kennedy was awake during his brain surgery and apparently it is key to enable the surgeons to understand just what portions of the brain they are affecting, but jeez I don’t have the guts for that.


Sang says on October 28th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Yep, pretty scary. Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at the 21 million number?



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