Definition: Anesthesia is the administration of medications (anesthetics) to control pain during a medical procedure or surgery. There are three types of anesthesia:
- Local anesthesia numbs a small area of the body for minor procedures. A local anesthetic drug is given via a shot to the area being treated. This can and is often done by a variety of physicians with various specialities, though it is commonly used for dental work and stitches.
- Regional anesthesia numbs a larger area (region) of the body. Regional anesthesia may be given for minor surgery or childbirth and may be given with other medications to induce sedation. This is only given by an anesthesiologist.
- General anesthesia is only administered for major surgeries. It affects the body and the brain by inducing unconsciousness and complete pain control. This, too, is only given by an anesthesiologist.