What is Anesthesia


General Anesthesia – Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. General anesthesia mostly works on the brain and central nervous system to make the patient unconscious and unaware. Anesthesia is administered through the patient’s circulatory system using a combination of injected drugs and inhaled gas.  In order to maintain the anesthesia throughout the course of the procedures, additional drugs via an intravenous (IV) line and inhaled gases.

Local Anesthesia – Local anesthetics are given to patients to temporarily stop pain in a particular area of the body. The patient otherwise remains conscious with the local anesthetic. For minor surgery or office-based procedures, a local anesthetic is administered by an injection to the site.

Regional Anesthesia – Regional anesthesia is used to block the electrical nerve impulses in a specific nerve or group of nerves at the surgical procedure site.

Spinal – Regional anesthesia is often used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal or lower extremity surgery. With a single injection the anesthetic agent is administered very near the spinal cord in the lower back, numbing the lower body, or providing a method for injecting a medication to help with postoperative pain. Sometimes general anesthesia will be combined with a spinal for postop pain relief. Always ask your consultant questions until you are satisfied with the explanation.

Nerve Blocks – Anesthetic is administered within the group of nerves that affects the surgical area. These are designed most commonly to help with postoperative pain relief.

Epidural and Caudal Anesthesia – This anesthetic is commonly used for surgery of the lower limbs and during labor and childbirth. The anesthetic is continually infused through a thin catheter placed into the surrounding space of the spinal cord in the lower back, causing numbness in the lower body.