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Sizing Up Surgery

7. What Kind of Anesthesia Will I Need?

Your surgeon can tell you whether the operation calls for local anesthesia (a numbing of only a part of the body for a short time), regional anesthesia (a numbing of a larger portion of the body for a few hours), or general anesthesia (a numbing of the entire body for the entire time of the surgery) and why this form of anesthesia is recommended for your procedure. Ask what the side effects and risks of having anesthesia are in your case. Be sure to mention any medical problems you have, including allergies, and any medications you have been taking, since they may affect your response to the anesthesia.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

Number of life-threatening infections acquired annually in hospitals and nursing facilities:

Urinary tract -- 566,000

Surgical wounds -- 293,000

Pneumonia -- 274,000

Bloodstream -- 236,000

Deaths from these infections:

Pneumonia -- 34,000

Bloodstream -- 25,000

Surgical wounds -- 11,000

Urinary tract -- 9,000

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