Orkin, Fredrick K. The Medical Center at the University of California School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Last reviewed:February 2021
- General anesthesia
- Regional anesthesia
- Local anesthesia
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness. Anesthesia is used to prevent pain during surgery and other medical procedures. There are several ways of producing anesthesia, with the choice dependent on the type of surgery and the medical condition and preference of the patient. Each person responds differently to a given anesthetic, and anesthetic techniques and drugs often have marked effects on bodily functions, especially those of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Therefore, these systems are monitored closely during anesthetic administration, with measurements of heart sounds, blood pressure, heart action (electrocardiogram), temperature, and oxygenation taken using a variety of sophisticated devices. Typically, the types of anesthesia are referred to as general anesthesia (see illustration), regional anesthesia, and local anesthesia. See also: Consciousness; Medicine; Pain; Sensation; Surgery
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