Types of Anesthesia


There are three main categories of anesthesia, each having many forms and uses. They are:

  • General
  • Regional
  • Local

In general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness or other sensations. There are a number of general anesthetic drugs - some are gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and others are medications introduced through a vein.

In regional anesthesia, your anesthesiologist makes an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or you may be given a sedative, either way you do not see or feel the actual surgery taking place. There are several kinds of regional anesthesia; the two most common are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia.

In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of your body requiring minor surgery.

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>> Anesthesia for Same-Day Surgery

>> Office-Based Surgery & Anesthesia

>> Learn More about Surgery While the Patient is Awake

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The ASA does not employ physician anesthesiologists on staff and cannot respond to patient inquiries regarding specific medical conditions or anesthesia administration. Please direct any questions related to anesthetics, procedures or treatment outcomes to the patient’s anesthesiologist or general physician.