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All About Anesthesia

WHAT IS ANESTHESIA?

Anesthesia is the loss of feeling or sensation with or without a loss of consciousness. To achieve this, anesthesia controls the body’s reactions to pain and stress while relieving the fear and anxiety associated with surgery or childbirth.

There are two main types of anesthesia - regional and general. When a regional anesthetic is used, the area of the body affected by the anesthesia is numb, but the patient may be either conscious or sedated. In some situations, a combination of regional and general anesthesia may be used.

Who administers anesthesia?

In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist (physician anesthetist). CRNAs are advanced practice nurses with specialized graduate-level education in anesthesiology.

Will a nurse anesthetist stay with me throughout surgery?

CRNAs stay with you for the entire procedure. They constantly monitor every important function of your body and individually modify your anesthetic to ensure your maximum safety and comfort.

Are there different types of anesthesia?

There are three basic types of anesthesia:
  • General anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body including amnesia.
  • Regional anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body and may include sedation to produce amnesia.
  • Local anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a small specific area of the body and may include sedation to produce amnesia.

Learn More

Nurse anesthetists will conduct a preoperative interview with you to determine which anesthetic is best for you.
For more information about anesthesia, please visit the Regional Anesthesia Group website HERE or visit the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website HERE .

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