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 (anesthetist) monitors the person's condition throughout the procedure.
Last Revised: December 2, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology
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