Anaesthesiology is the branch of medicine of that involves the safe usage of medical drugs to induce a controlled and reversible state of total or partial unresponsiveness in order to carry out surgical procedures safely and without causing any discomfort to the patient. Anaesthesia allows numerous medical procedures and surgeries to take place painlessly without which certain procedures may even technically be impossible.
There are three main types of anaesthetics:
+ Local - Numbs sensation in one small area of the body. The patient stays awake and alert. This type of anaesthesia is administered by injection, spray, or as an ointment. Only the surgical area is made numb. It is mainly used for outpatient procedures such as those of dentistry and hand or foot surgeries.
+ Regional – Blocks pain and sensation in a particular part of the body. The patient is awake but the part to be operated on is made numb with the injection of a local anaesthetic. A commonly used kind is epidural anaesthesia, which is administered during childbirth.
+ General – Acts on the entire body. The patient is made unconscious and kept pain-free throughout the duration of the procedure by continued administration of anaesthetics. At the end of the surgery, the effect of anaesthesia is reversed and the patient is woken up. The patient has no recollection of the procedure.