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The 3 Types of Anesthesia Services

If you`ve had any major surgery, the chances are that you underwent anesthesia to reduce pain. There are various levels of anesthesia, all based on the type of surgery that is to happen. An anesthesiologist will choose the type of anesthesia service to be used in your procedure depending on various factors such as current health, previous surgeries, health history, and current health problems.

What is an anesthesia service?

Anesthesia is a method of controlling pain during surgery. Apart from pain control, anesthetics aid in controlling your breathing, blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate and rhythm. A typical anesthetic causes patients to fall into a state of unconsciousness during surgery, allowing a painless procedure.

Types of anesthesia services

Local anesthesia
This type of anesthetic service only numbs a small part of your body .i.e. hand, foot or patch of skin. The anesthetic drug, which can be in the form of a spray, shot or ointment lasts for a short period and is commonly used for minor outpatient procedures.

Depending on the extent and duration of the procedure, local anesthesia can be used as a single service or can be combined with sedation or general anesthesia. Typical surgical procedures where the local anesthesia can be used include skin cut or tear, or tooth removal by a dermatologist.

Regional anesthesia
Unlike the local anesthesia procedure, the regional anesthesia numbs a larger area. However, it uses the same principle of the local anesthesia, only that it entails injecting the local anesthetics around major nerve bundles or cluster of nerves that supply the pain neurons to the body areas such as the thighs, hand, shoulder, forearm or waist.

Since it`s impossible to locate the nerve bundles using the naked eye, aestheticians use nerve-locating devices such as the nerve stimulator or ultrasound. The above procedures are painless and are used to show the internal body structure of the patient by leveraging on the sound waves to create an image.

Regional anesthesia is more precise and delivers the anesthetics with greater accuracy. The effects of the procedure are numbness and tingling around the area.  This anesthesia service may be used alone or in combination with the general anesthesia.

The two main types of regional anesthesia include;

-Epidural and spinal anesthesia

This numbing shot is administered around the spinal cord and the nerves connection surrounding it. It hinders the pain from an entire body region such as the hips, belly or legs.

-Peripheral nerve blocks

The shot blocks pain around a particular group of nerves and is used for procedures on limbs, legs, hands, or the face.

General anesthesia

The main aim of the general anesthesia is to keep the patients completely unconscious during the surgery, with no memory or awareness of the whole process. This anesthetic service is administered either through inhaling gases through a mask or tube or intravenous (IV) line.

General anesthesia is commonly administered to patients who are undergoing major surgeries that may take a long period.