Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

General, Regional, and Local Anesthesia

Anesthesia is a way to control pain using anesthetic medicine. Anesthetics are used to numb a specific area of the body (local and regional anesthesia) or to cause a person to be unconscious and not have pain during a procedure such as surgery (general anesthesia).

  • Local anesthesia numbs just a small area of tissue where a minor procedure is to be done.
  • Regional anesthesia numbs a larger (but still limited) part of the body and does not make the person unconscious. Sometimes medicine is added to help the person relax or fall asleep. Spinal and epidural anesthesia are examples of regional anesthesia.
  • General anesthesia affects the entire body and makes the person unconscious. The unconscious person is completely unaware of what is going on and does not feel pain from the surgery or procedure. General anesthesia medicines can be injected into a vein or inhaled.

The type of anesthesia used depends upon the procedure and the person's health, age, and preferences. Young children usually cannot remain still during surgery and need general anesthesia. People with certain health problems choose local or regional anesthesia when that is an option, because it may pose fewer risks than general anesthesia in some situations. Long or difficult surgeries may require general anesthesia.

A person choosing local or regional anesthesia needs to be able to lie still and remain calm during the surgery. Medicine may be given to help with relaxation.

COVID-19 Updates

Do you ever feel at times due to life being so busy you put your health on hold? Now is the time to take care of you! For many of our patients we have postponed your annual exam by moving it out a few months in response to COVID-19, but we still want to make sure we have the opportunity to take care of you from afar. If you are our patient and have not had the opportunity for us to review your cancer family history with you, or maybe you have just put this on hold, here is the opportunity for you to fill out your information in a few quick steps online to see if testing is right for you! This questionnaire on your medical history will be posted to our website as well to access and to complete. So take control of your health today! We will be happy to direct you to right resources and follow up with you for any questions you may have.

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