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Before your operation, the anesthesia staff will ask about your previous experience with anesthesia and any medical conditions and allergies you may have.

This information helps determines which anesthesia is best suited for you.

Types of Anesthesia

The type of anesthesia you receive depends on your general health, the surgery you're having and your preference, when possible.

The anesthesiologist will discuss the risks and benefits associated with each type before your operation.

Although uncommon, complications or side effects can occur with any anesthetic, even though your anesthesiologist takes special precautions to avoid them.

When you are given one of the first three types of anesthesia below, an anesthesia care team member will be with you constantly during your operation to provide anesthesia or sedation and to monitor your reaction.

  • General anesthesia: With general anesthesia, you lose consciousness and "go to sleep."

  • Regional anesthesia: Involves injecting local anesthetic to create numbness to a large area of the body.

  • Monitored anesthesia: Is a combination of local anesthesia, sedation and monitoring.

  • Local anesthesia: Provides numbness to a small area and is used for very minor operations.


Anesthesiologists are physicians who medically care for a patient throughout the surgical experience.

They evaluate the patient before surgery, consult with the surgical team on treatment, administer anesthesia to relieve pain and/or suppress consciousness during surgery and supervise post-surgical care and discharge from the recovery unit.