If you are having surgery, your doctor will give you medicine called an anesthetic. Anesthetics reduce or prevent pain. There are three main types:
- Local - numbs one small area of the body. You stay awake and alert.
- Regional - blocks pain in an area of the body, such an arm or leg. A common type is epidural anesthesia, which is often used during childbirth.
- General - makes you unconscious. You do not feel any pain, and you do not remember the procedure afterwards.
You may also get a mild sedative to relax you. You stay awake but may not remember the procedure afterwards. Sedation can be used with or without anesthesia.
The type of anesthesia or sedation you get depends on many factors. They include the procedure you are having and your current health.
Treatments and Therapies
- Herbal Products and Your Anesthestic (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
- After Anesthesia: The Patient's Active Role Assists in Recovery (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
- Anesthesia Awareness (Waking Up) During Surgery (American Society of Anesthesiologists)
- Before Anesthesia: The Patient's Active Role Makes a Difference (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
- Down Syndrome: Co-Occuring Conditions (National Down Syndrome Society)
- Effects of Anesthesia (American Society of Anesthesiologists)
- Preanesthesia Questionnaire (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) - PDF
- Role of the Physician Anesthesiologist (American Society of Anesthesiologists)
- Spinal Headaches (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- Anesthesia Fact Sheet (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Anesthesia (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Association between perioperative hypothermia and patient outcomes after thoracic surgery:...
- Article: Flumazenil reduces respiratory complications during anesthesia emergence in children with...
- Article: Optimal dose of perineural dexmedetomidine for interscalene brachial plexus block...
- Anesthesia -- see more articles
- Labor Pain (American Society of Anesthesiologists)
- Age (American Society of Anesthesiologists)