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What types of anesthesia are used in office-based surgery?

The same anesthetic techniques used in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers are used in office-based surgery. They include:
  • Local anesthesia, which provides numbness to a small area of the body, such as a dermatologist might use to numb the skin around a mole before removing it.
  • Monitored anesthesia (sedation/analgesia), during which a patient receives medications that relieve pain and make the patient drowsy. During surgery, the patient's vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level, will be watched closely in order to avoid sudden changes or complications.
  • Regional anesthesia, which can include spinal blocks, epidural blocks or extremity blocks. Spinal and epidural blocks involve interrupting sensation from the legs or abdomen by injecting local anesthetic medication in or near the spinal canal. Other blocks can be performed for surgery on your extremities, or limbs, blocking sensations from the arm or leg.
  • General anesthesia, which involves the total loss of consciousness, pain sensation and protective airway responses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.