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What Are the Types of Anesthesia?

There are several types of anesthetic techniques available for your surgery. The anesthesia technique recommended will depend on several factors. In some cases, the surgical procedure will dictate what kind of anesthesia will be needed. There are four anesthetic options:

General Anesthesia

This anesthetic choice produces unconsciousness so that you will not feel, see, or hear anything during the surgical procedure. The anesthetic medications are given to you through an intravenous line, through an anesthetic mask, or by a breathing tube. Often, this is referred to as sleep. However, this is not sleep, but a medically induced state of unconsciousness, where the vital functions are supported by the anesthesia provider.

Regional Anesthesia

This technique produces numbness with the injection of local anesthesia around nerves in a region (or part) of the body corresponding to the surgical procedure. Epidural or spinal blocks anesthetize the abdomen and both lower extremities. Other nerve blocks may be done with the nerves in the arms or legs to anesthetize individual extremities. With regional anesthesia, medications can be given that will make you comfortable, drowsy, and blur your memory.

Monitored Anesthesia Care

With this approach, you usually receive pain medication and sedatives through your intravenous line from your  anesthesiologist. This is often referred to as “twilight sleep”. The surgeon will also inject local anesthesia at the operative site, which will produce additional pain control during and immediately after the procedure. While you are sedated, your anesthesiologist will monitor your vital body functions.

Obstetric Anesthesia

The Bend Anesthesiologists team are clinical experts in obstetric anesthesia providing effective pain relief and a wide range of anesthetic services to expecting mothers.