Types of Anesthesia

You will likely receive some type of anesthesia during surgery. Local anesthesia is an injection that numbs the area where the procedure is being done. Most procedures that take place in a doctor's office, such as the removal of a mole, are done with local anesthesia. Regional anesthesia blocks pain in one larger part of the body, often by numbing the nerves in and around the area where surgery is needed. Patients receiving local or regional anesthesia are often given conscious sedation, also called monitored anesthesia care, which helps them relax and sometimes sleep during the procedure. General anesthesia makes a person unconscious during a major procedure.

Initially, general anesthesia is delivered through a face mask, an intravenous (IV) needle that is placed in a vein in your arm, or a combination of both. The anesthesiologist then usually places a tube in your throat to assist with breathing, provide oxygen, and sometimes deliver anesthesia. The anesthesiologist carefully monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen during the operation. Generally, you are not aware of anything until the anesthesia wears off after the operation.

Surgery Preparation

After the anesthesia has been given and before the surgery begins, the area of your body around the location of the surgery will be thoroughly cleaned and any hair will be shaved or trimmed to reduce the risk of infection. Once the operation is finished, you will be moved to the recovery area or another appropriate area depending on how much care you need after surgery.