Types of Anesthesia

There are essentially three types of anesthesia: general, regional, and local anesthesia with monitoring.

  1. GENERAL ANESTHESIA: During general anesthesia you are completely asleep. This is achieved by using various intravenous and inhaled drugs.
  2. REGIONAL ANESTHESIA: During this type of anesthesia, you remain awake and comfortably sedated while only a portion of your body is made numb. Techniques such as epidurals, spinals, or specific peripheral nerve blocks are examples of regional anesthesia.
  3. LOCAL ANESTHESIA WITH MONITORING: While your surgeon injects specific part of the body (such as an eyelid or finger, etc.) with local anesthesia, your Anesthesiologist monitors your vital signs (heart, lungs, etc.) and maintains you comfortably sedated with intravenous drugs. This is also called Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC). If the need arises, the Anesthesiologist is prepared to administer other types of anesthesia.

Prior to any anesthetic, an intravenous tube is placed in a vein in your arm to give fluids and drugs during surgery. While under any type of anesthesia, the function of your heart, lungs, and nervous system will be continuously monitored with the help of various instruments. These will provide a minute to minute assessment of your physiological status and thus help provide for a very safe anesthetic.