Anesthesia is a way to control pain using anesthetic medicine. General anesthesia, which can be injected into a vein or inhaled, affects the entire body and makes the person unconscious.
A person under general anesthesia is completely unaware of what is going on and does not feel pain during the surgery or procedure. Anesthesia interrupts the pain signals between a person's nerve endings and the brain. The health professional administering the anesthesia monitors the person's condition throughout the procedure.
Current as of: August 21, 2015
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service representative, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.