Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology is the branch of medicine specializing in the use of drugs or other agents that cause insensibility to pain.

If you are having a procedure, you will be given some type anesthetic to numb or prevent pain. There are three levels of anesthesia:

  • Local – numbs a small area of the body, while you remain awake and alert
  • Regional – blocks pain in a larger area of the body, such as an epidural anesthetic used during childbirth. You remain awake and alert during the procedure
  • General – makes you unconscious. You don't feel pain, and you don't remember the procedure afterwards
You may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Under sedation, you stay awake but may not remember the procedure afterwards. Sedation can be used with or without general anesthesia.

Anesthesiology also may be defined as continuity of patient care involving preoperative evaluation, intraoperative and postoperative care and the management of systems and personnel that support these activities.


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