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Considering Surgery: Types and Benefits of Anesthesia.

There are four main categories of anesthesia used during surgery and other procedures. Sometimes patients may choose which type of anesthesia will be used.

People undergo surgery on a daily basis, some operations require going deep into the body while some can take many hours to finish.

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Many of these procedures are possible only because of anesthesia. Different types of anesthesia may be used depending on the procedure.

Below are four types of anesthesia used during surgery:

  • General Anesthesia:

 General anesthesia uses drugs that make people unconscious and unable to feel pain or move.

Many different medications may be used during general anesthesia. Some are anesthetic gases or vapors that are given through a breathing tube or a mask. Some medications are given through the IV to induce sleep, relax muscles, and treat pain.

It’s used for long or invasive procedures.


The common side effect of general anesthesia is drowsiness and this typically goes away within two hours after surgery. Every year, millions of people in the nation undergo general anesthesia.

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  • Regional anesthesia:

This type of Anesthesia makes an area of the body numb to prevent the patient from feeling pain. It can completely block sensation to the area of the body that requires surgery. The anesthesiologist injects local anesthesia (numbing medication) near the cluster of nerves that provides sensation to that area.

Two very common types of regional anesthesia are spinal and epidural anesthesia. Either one may be used for childbirth, or for orthopedic procedures such as total knee and total hip replacement.

  •  Sedation (Monitored Anesthesia):

People often referred to this type of Anesthesia in the past as “twilight”. Medications are given, usually through an IV, to make the patient feel drowsy and relaxed. Different levels of sedation are possible, depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s preference.

Mild sedation is often used for eye surgery, during the process, the patient is awake and can respond to questions or instructions. With moderate sedation, the patient may doze off but awake easily. Deep sedation is nearly the same as general anesthesia, meaning that the patient is deeply asleep though able to breathe without assistance.

  • Local Anesthesia:

 This term is used for medications such as lidocaine that are injected through a needle or applied as a cream to numb a small area. Local anesthesia alone may provide enough pain relief for limited procedures such as sewing up a deep cut or filling dental cavities. 


It numbs a small part of the body, such as a tooth, and It is often used along with sedation during minor outpatient surgery. At the end of many operations, the surgeon may inject local anesthesia to provide additional pain relief during recovery.

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Conclusively, Anesthesia enables patients to tolerate surgical procedures that would otherwise inflict unbearable pain, potentiate extreme physiologic exacerbations, and result in unpleasant memories. Before surgery, an anesthesiologist will guide and educate you on the types of anesthesia, and the one that would be safe and appropriate for the operation or procedure you need.