Surgery can cause stress on a healthy body.  A person who has multiple sclerosis also experiences more stress, and the combination of multiple sclerosis and anesthesia can sometimes cause side effects.  Sometimes, surgery cannot be avoided though, and MS and anesthesia are combined.  Patients are usually monitored very carefully to ensure that surgery goes smoothly while the patient is under any type of anesthesia.  Vital stats will be monitored closely throughout the surgery to make sure the patient is always stabilized.  Before a multiple sclerosis patient undergoes surgery, a doctor will usually want to make sure they are otherwise healthy and not battling any other infections.

One of the biggest reasons that people with multiple sclerosis are worried about going under anesthesia is because they believe it could cause them to have a flare up or a relapse.  While there is no proof that this could happen after receiving anesthesia, it has not been ruled out either.  The stress of having a surgical procedure done could cause a flare up or relapse to occur.  Someone with multiple sclerosis who needs to have an operation should discuss this possibility with their medical professional and have a plan in place before having the procedure done.


The Nervous System, MS and Anesthesia


Certain nervous system conditions like multiple sclerosis can affect the way anesthesia works within the body.  They can increase its effectiveness.  This means that an anesthesiologist will need to specifically tailor the dosage to the individual patient very carefully, to ensure they do not get too much anesthesia.  Too much anesthesia can have a lot of major and minor side effects for any patient, including nausea, headache, nerve damage, aspiration problems, and severe blood pressure changes.  There are steps in place to avoid these problems, such as having people fast either overnight or for 24 hours before going under anesthesia.

While there are side effects to anesthesia, the risk of it being fatal is small.  Usually, the benefits of having the surgery far outweigh the risks of undergoing anesthesia for a few hours.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have before hand to get the answers you need to feel comfortable before having any type of surgery.  On the day of your surgery, have a family member or friend available to drive you to and from the hospital so that you will not have to drive.  It is also best to have someone stay with you after the procedure.