Types of general, regional, and local anesthesia


The doctor chooses the proper type of anesthesia for the patient based on many considerations, including the type of operation, age, and health condition to make sure whether this type of anesthesia is suitable for the patient’s condition or not. You must know the difference between them and their side effects.

What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia means (loss of sensation). It causes a temporary loss of pain or consciousness by targeting proteins in the membranes surrounding nerve cells, soothing sensation. Furthermore, prevent the transmission of nerve signals to the brain, where the anesthesiologist anesthetizes the patient so that he does not feel pain during medical procedures. (1)


Types of anesthesia:

There are four main types of anesthesia: general, spinal, local, and analgesic.


General anesthesia sets the person in a state of unconsciousness under the supervision of the nursing staff and surgeons so that they do not feel pain during the operation and do not know what is happening to them.


Both spinal and local anesthesia numbs the part of the body where the procedure is taking place, allowing the patient to stay awake during the medical procedure. Sedation helps the person feel relaxed. (1)


General anesthesia:

General anesthesia causes loss of consciousness and pain. Therefore, the surgeon can start their medical procedure.


The anesthesiologist anesthetizes the patient intravenously (IV) or through a tube or mask, after which the effect of the anesthetic spreads in the body very quickly.


The patient feels dizzy before losing consciousness in less than a minute, after which they follow the patient’s vital signs and breathing rate during the procedure.


Once the surgery is over, the doctor will stop giving the anesthetic, so the person will gradually wake up and feel pain after that. So the doctor will prescribe a painkiller for them. But, some people may have to stay in the hospital for a few hours to a few days. (3)


Side effects of general anesthesia:


It is possible that some people suffer from side effects, but they do not last for a long time, as it may appear:


  • Memory loss is more common in the elderly.
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Shivering and feeling cold.
  • Sore throat due to breathing tube



General anesthesia causes a complete loss of consciousness until the surgery is completed, and when the doctor stops giving the anesthetic to the patient, the person gradually wakes up.


Spinal anesthesia:

It is similar to local anesthesia in that it causes local numbness but is used to numb a larger area.


Starting from the waist down by injecting an anesthetic into the spine to block pain signals going back to the brain


When the patient is awake and this type of anesthesia is used in operations such as cesarean section or appendix removal, and so on.


Side effects of spinal anesthesia:

It is generally safe. However, a person may experience mild side effects. These side effects may include:


  • Feeling pain when taking the injection.
  • Tingling 
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Constant headache
  • In rare cases, a person may have an allergic reaction to It. 



Spinal anesthesia is the anesthesia of the lower half of the body in which the patient is awake and aware of his surroundings.


Local anesthesia:

In which the patient is awake and interacts with the doctor in the manner of spinal anesthesia. But, it differs from midterm anesthesia in that it is within a small area, such as the jaw of the face or a small area on the skin, and is in the form of:


  • Liquids
  • Creams
  • Spray sprays


In some cases, the doctor may use a combination of local anesthetics for a long-term effect.


it is used in cases of:


  • Removing stitches
  • When taking needles or syringes
  • Catheter insertion
  • Laser treatments
  • Tooth extraction or nerve filling
  • In ophthalmology clinics


Local anesthetics can also help relieve pain from:


  • Sores in the teeth, gums, or mouth
  • Open wounds
  • Sore throat
  • Minor burns
  • Hemorrhoids (2)


Side effects of local anesthesia:

Local one is generally safe and often causes no side effects. And if the patient is given too much or if the injection goes into a vein rather than a tissue, the patient may feel:


  • Ringing in the ear
  • Dizziness.
  • Metallic taste in the mouth


If taken in very high doses, sedation may cause:


An allergic reaction to the anesthetic, but this is rare. 

Most allergic reactions to local anesthetics are caused by a preservative in the anesthetic, not the drug itself. (2)


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