Anesthesia has been known to make even those with the strongest resolve crumble under its influences, causing nonsense to issue from their lips and loved ones to burst into laughter as a result. Do a quick couple of YouTube searches and you’ll easily find that many mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters have filmed their woozy relatives post-surgery just to catch the ridiculous interactions on camera.
Nick, the man in the video below, required oral surgery to have his wisdom teeth removed back in 2012, and his post-surgery commentary was hilarious enough to earn hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. He explained in the description of the YouTube video that he had to be sedated for the surgery because of some odd-placed nerves, and he was loopy for several hours after waking up.
According to WebMD, it’s not unusual for an individual to be put under procedural sedation or general anesthesia during oral surgery. If the person is having all four teeth removed or if the removal will be difficult, like when the oral surgeon must crush wisdom teeth in the gums that are growing in under other molars, procedural sedation can make the whole endeavor much easier on the patient.
Most problems with wisdom teeth arise between the ages of 15 and 25, but once you are over the age of 30 there is a very slim chance that you’ll encounter any issues, reports WebMD. The younger a person is when they have their wisdom teeth removed, the better. Because the roots of the wisdom teeth are not fully developed and the jaw bone is not as dense in the teenage years and the early 20s, the healing process for younger patients is significantly easier and quicker than that of those who have their teeth removed as adults.
If you must have your wisdom teeth removed as an adult, the likelihood of coming out of surgery just as loopy as Nick is higher because the surgery will be more complicated, but what is it that causes anesthesia to illicit such strange reactions from patients under its influence?
Dr. Emory Brown of Massachusetts General Hospital co-authored a study on the effects of anesthesia that showed that the deepest levels of sleep are much like the lightest levels of anesthesia. When you think about trying to wake someone up after just a few hours of sleep or in the middle of a REM cycle, you might imagine the person as groggy, nonsensical, unable to speak clearly, and just generally out of it — just like when someone is waking up from anesthesia. When the body is under anesthesia, it’s much like experiencing an exceptionally deep sleep.
Anesthesia is usually administered either through an IV or through gas inhalation, and Medical Daily reports that its primary effects are on the spinal cord, brainstem reticular activating system, and the cerebral cortex. The patient will usually experience three stages of anesthesia, the first being induction, during which the patient begins to feel the effects of the anesthesia but is still conscious. The second stage is excitement, during which the patient is unconscious and may experience twitching and irregular breathing. The third stage occurs when the patient is fully anesthetized and is experiencing regular breathing. The fourth stage is considered an emergency and is not part of the safe processes of anesthesia. Anesthesiologists must be highly trained specialists because over-administering drugs could cause an overdose with the potential for brain damage or death.
Though administering anesthesia is a carefully controlled and delicate process, it’s an incredibly routine part of undergoing surgery. Under the care of trained professionals, the worst one might have to worry about in being put under anesthesia is what gets said upon waking up.