Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital Alert: COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) information for patients and visitors LEARN MORE >>

What are the different types of anesthesia available?

There are three types of anesthesia, which include local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and general anesthesia. Each option has several forms and specific uses.

  • Local anesthesia: In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is injected directly into the tissue to numb the area of the body that requires minor surgery, for instance, the hand or foot.
  • Regional anesthesia: In regional anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is injected near the cluster of nerves to numb the parts of the body that needs surgery. You may either remain awake or be sedated. But, you will not be able to see or feel the surgery taking place. There are several types of regional anesthesia. The most commonly used are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, which are administered through injections into the appropriate areas of the spine. These are used during labor and prostate surgery.
  • General anesthesia: When under general anesthesia, you remain unconscious and have no sensation. General anesthetic drugs are gases and vapors inhaled with the help of a breathing mask or tube, and medications injected into a vein. While under anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will closely monitor and control your bodily functions through the use of sophisticated equipment. A breathing tube is introduced through the mouth and placed into the windpipe so that proper breathing is maintained during this period. At the end of the surgical procedure, the anesthesiologist will reverse the anesthetic action and the patient will get back to consciousness in the recovery room.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/