Both laparoscopic and open Heller myotomy require general anesthesia. The patient is asleep and completely unaware of the procedure. During the operation, a small tube will be placed into the stomach via the mouth and another into the bladder. In addition, a standard breathing tube will be placed into the windpipe. All these tubes will be removed at the end of the procedure before the patient is fully conscious. Other than a possible sore throat, you will not know these tubes were present during the operation.
Is anesthesia safe?
Yes. Most people are more afraid of the anesthesia than the surgery. This is a normal reaction. However, this fear is not realistic, since modern anesthetic techniques are extremely safe.
Anesthesia is a very controlled use of drugs to block certain body functions, such as muscle contraction, consciousness and pain. These drugs can be reversed by other drugs or by stopping their infusion into the veins. While a patient is under anesthesia, vital body functions are monitored, including EKG, blood pressure, blood-oxygen level and the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath. Anesthesia is so safe that there is really no need to be worried about it. People are anesthetized millions of times per day all over the world without problems.