Local:
Surgeon injects local anesthetic into the surgical site. No drugs are given, anesthesia team is not involved.

Monitored Anesthesia Care:
(Local with intravenous sedation) Anesthesia care team provides necessary intravenous sedatives and monitors vital signs during the procedure. Usually able to skip the recovery room and go straight to the discharge area to prepare for home.

General Anesthesia:
For adults, this involves the administration of intravenous drugs to achieve unconsciousness, followed by the administration of anesthetic gases to maintain that state. Intravenous narcotics for pain and anti-emetic meds are given during the procedure so that when the patient awakens, he is usually comfortable.

Regional Anesthesia:
This involves the injection of local anesthetics in the area of large nerves to "numb" part of the body. Typical examples would be the use of "spinal anesthesia" for the delivery of a baby by cesarean section or a total knee replacement. Another common regional technique is "epidural anesthesia" which really accomplishes the same thing as a "spinal" but the drugs are delivered in a different tissue plane, and "epidural analgesia," which is the administration of dilute solution of local anesthetic and narcotic to provide continuous pain relief during labor of after a major abdominal surgery (colon removal) or thoracic procedure (partial lung removal). The drugs are pumped into the epidural space continuously for 2-3 days.

For more detailed information regarding anesthesia, please visit www.asahq.org.