Anesthesia is the loss of feeling or sensation with or without a loss of consciousness. To achieve this, anesthesia controls the body’s reactions to pain and stress while relieving the fear and anxiety associated with surgery or childbirth.
There are two main types of anesthesia - regional and general. When a regional anesthetic is used, the area of the body affected by the anesthesia is numb, but the patient may be either conscious or sedated. In some situations, a combination of regional and general anesthesia may be used.
In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist (physician anesthetist). CRNAs are advanced practice nurses with specialized graduate-level education in anesthesiology.