Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > General, Regional, and Local Anesthesia
Anesthesia is a way to control pain using anesthetic medicine.
Anesthetics are used to numb a specific area of the body (local and regional
anesthesia) or to cause a person to be unconscious and not have pain during a procedure such as
surgery (general anesthesia).
The type of anesthesia used depends upon the procedure and the
person's health, age, and preferences. Young children usually cannot remain
still during surgery and need general anesthesia. People with certain health
problems choose local or regional anesthesia when that is an option, because it
may pose fewer risks than general anesthesia in some situations. Long or
difficult surgeries may require general anesthesia.
A person choosing local or regional anesthesia needs to be able to
lie still and remain calm during the surgery. Medicine may be given to help with relaxation.
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.