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Anesthesia During Surgery Treatment Information
We use three main forms of anesthesia during surgical and nonsurgical procedures: local anesthetic, sedation and general anesthesia (controlled unconsciousness). Your anesthesiologist determines which of these is most appropriate for your procedure and condition.
Local anesthetic is administered through a shot or multiple shots into the area affected by surgery. These anesthetics numb the area so you do not feel pain or other sensations throughout the procedure.
Sedation is a milder form of general anesthesia that limits your awareness of the procedure. You may receive sedation intravenously (through an IV) or by breathing in an anesthetic gas. Sedation is used during short, quick procedures in combination with local anesthetics. It is unlikely that you will remember anything that happened while you were sedated.
General anesthesia is delivered intravenously (through an IV) and causes complete unconsciousness. You do not feel any pain or become aware at all of the procedure.
While you are sedated or under general anesthesia, your anesthesiologist or another anesthesiology team member carefully monitors your vital signs. These include:
- Blood pressure
- Body fluid balance
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Heart rhythm
Your anesthesiologist manages your medicines throughout surgery to ensure you remain in the proper state of sedation or unconsciousness. Our expert anesthesiologists have the skill and experience necessary to keep you safely sedated and make adjustments as your body responds to medicines and the surgery itself.
Depending on the procedure and type of anesthesia, you may also need to receive oxygen or fluids during surgery. Your anesthesiologist administers these to maintain your well-being for the duration of surgery.
After the procedure is complete, a member of the anesthesiology team begins the process of waking you from your sleep or sedation. Careful regulation of anesthetic during surgery helps with this transition.
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Anesthesia During Surgery Support Services
Find out more about the different types of anesthesia and what to expect on the day of surgery at the websites below.
A Sampling of Anesthesia During Surgery Support Services
MedlinePlus: Conscious Sedation
This NIH page discusses the use of conscious sedation during medical procedures and what you should expect when receiving sedation.
MedlinePlus: General Anesthesia
This website provides a thorough explanation of general anesthesia, how it is used and its risks.