Medical anaesthesia is when patients experience a loss of sensation induced by drugs. There are several different types of anaesthesia used in surgery and medical settings. Anaesthesia can be induced for a wide range of treatments and situations.
Medications that cause the loss of sensation associated with anaesthesia are called anaesthetics. These are administered by trained professionals such as surgeons, dental surgeons and anaesthesiologists.
Anaesthesia works by stopping the pain signals that your body sends to your brain. This means that you do not feel pain, even when you are awake. Pain returns when the anaesthesia wears off and normal function is returned to your nerve signals.
Types of anaesthesia
There are several types of anaesthesia used by medical professionals:
General anaesthesia - this refers to an anaesthetic procedure that induces unconsciousness in the patient. It is used in cases where extensive or delicate surgery is being performed.
Local anaesthesia - a type of anaesthesia that only provokes the loss of sensation in certain parts of the body. It is frequently used for minor surgeries or for dental procedures such as tooth extractions.
Sedation - a type of anaesthesia that leaves you awake but induces drowsiness and relaxation. This is used for minor painful or unpleasant procedures.
Anaesthesia and recovery times
The type of anaesthesia used for any given operation depends on the patient and is decided by the medical professional in charge of the case. The type of anaesthesia used also has an effect on the amount of recovery time needed after a procedure.
After a local anaesthesia, most people will be able to function normally, whereas a general anaesthetic takes considerably longer for people to recover from and often necessitates a night under observation.
Both types of anaesthesia are employed in cosmetic surgery, and depend on how invasive the procedure is.