General anesthesia is the creation of loss of consciousness, temporary amnesia, pain relief, and muscle relaxation through the use of a combination of IV and/or inhalational medications. Many different medications may be utilized to achieve these goals, which in the end, create an optimal atmosphere for the patient to receive surgical care.
Sedation anesthesia (Monitored Anesthesia Care) is the use of IV medication to create a restful surgical experience without the need for total loss of consciousness. If your surgery does not require general anesthesia, this is often the anesthetic of choice. It is typically combined with local anesthesia to create quality pain control with the luxury of being able to breathe on your own. Patients often comment that they feel time passed by quickly, and any recollection of surgery is rare. Unfortunately, this method is not appropriate for all surgeries.
Regional anesthesia is the application of numbing medication to a specific region of the body. This is achieved by applying local anesthetic to nerves located in either your spinal cord area or extremities to create a localized area of pain relief. This pain relief can be utilized for both intraoperative pain control and post-operative pain control. Often, if a regional anesthetic is chosen for your surgery, a sedative will also be administered to create a restful surgical experience.
Local anesthesia is the application of numbing medication directly to the area of surgery. It achieves pain relief to the surgical area within seconds, and does not require the use of any sedation during the surgical case.