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General Anesthesia

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 (anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist) monitors the person's condition throughout the procedure.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John M. Freedman, MD, MD - Anesthesiology
Last Revised September 30, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 30, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.