General Anesthesia and Intubation

Intubation and Singers

It could be argued that we are never more physically vulnerable than when we undergo surgery. Thanks to modern medicine, surgeons can perform the most complex of procedures all while the patient is in a medically induced state of unconsciousness known as a general anaesthesia. But of course, while you’re unconscious the anaesthetics team need to monitor all your vitals and manage your breathing mechanically. The Anaesthesiologist generally does this using a technique called intubation. Intubation is not without its risks, particularly for singers and their voices. So today, we’re going to briefly discuss the impact that General Anaesthetics and endotracheal intubation might have on your singing voice.

Odds would suggest that at some point in your life, you will undergo surgery which in turn will require a General Anaesthetic. In developed countries like Australia and the US, we are fortunate enough to have access to some of the best medical teams in the world who use the most advanced techniques. One area of modern medicine that continues to evolve is that of Anaesthetics. Of course, one of the major benefits of general anaesthesia is the suspension of our natural physical response to pain. But to suspend our natural protective reflexes, the Anaesthesiologist must also take control of certain automated systems such as our breathing.

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