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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).
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.
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
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