Many anesthesiologists use local anesthetics and regional blocks during surgery. This choice may help reduce the chances of various complications in certain patients. These types of anesthesia may be of particular benefit to those with heart or lung problems (but not necessarily discuss options with your anesthesiologist).
A local anesthetic (nerve block) will block nerve sensations in a specific area of the body. A spinal or epidural block involves numbing usually a larger area with an anesthetic such as lidocaine. It may involve putting a catheter into the epidural space in the spinal column. This catheter will enable the doctor to anesthetize a larger portion of the body and to continue injecting local anesthetic or administer continuous infusion for a long period of time -- even into the post-operative period. The epidural infusion into the post-operative period (after surgery) may enable you to participate more in pain control, physical therapy, and rehabilitation in efforts to speed recovery.
General anesthesia, which produces an unconscious state, affects your entire system and takes time to wear off. It can very rarely have dangerous side effects for some, but if properly done, it is extremely safe to use.
Find out more about this book:The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program