If you are having surgery, your provider will give you a drug called an anesthetic. Anesthetics reduce or prevent pain. There are four main types.
- Local: numbs one small area of the body. Patient is awake and alert.
- Conscious or intravenous (IV) sedation: uses a mild sedative to relax patient and pain medicine to relieve pain. Patient stays awake but may not remember the procedure afterwards.
- Regional anesthesia: blocks pain in an area of the body, such an arm or leg. Epidural anesthesia, which is sometimes used during childbirth, is a type of regional anesthesia.
- General anesthesia: affects patient’s whole body. Patient will fall asleep and will feel nothing. Patient will have no memory of the procedure afterwards.
The type of anesthesia your provider chooses depends on many factors. These include the procedure you are having and your current health. Please ask your provider for more information.