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In the practice of medicine (especially surgery and dentistry), anaesthesia is a state of temporary induced loss of sensation or awareness. A patient under the effects of anesthetic drugs is referred to as being anesthetized.

Anesthesia enables the painless performance of medical procedures that would cause severe or intolerable pain to an unanesthetized patient. There are three broad categories of anaesthesia :

  • General anesthesia : It suppresses the activity of the central nervous system and results in unconsciousness and total lack of sensation.
  • Sedation : It suppresses the central nervous system to a lesser degree, inhibiting both anxiety and creation of long-term memories without resulting in unconsciousness.
  • Regional Anaesthesia and Local Anaesthesia : It blocks the transmission of nerve impulses between a targeted part of the body and the central nervous system, causing loss of sensation in the targeted body part. A patient under regional or local anesthesia remains conscious, unless general anaesthesia or sedation is administered at the same time. There are two broad classes :
    1. Peripheral blockade : It inhibits the sensory perception in an isolated part of the body, such as numbing a tooth for dental work or administering a nerve block to inhibit sensation in an entire limb.
    2. Central, or neuraxial blockade : This administers the anesthetic in the region of the central nervous system itself, suppressing incoming sensation from outside the area of the block. Examples include epidural anaesthesia and spinal anaesthesia.


  • Dr. Abhijit Banerjee , MD
  • Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya ,MD
  • Dr. Dwaipayan Jha, MD
  • Dr. Chittaranjan Mandal, MBBS, MD (Anaes) Teacher Anaesthesia & Emergency Medicine
  • Dr. Ratul Kundu, MBBS, MD (Anaes)
  • Dr. Kowshik Paul, MBBS, DNB, PDCC, FNB (Cardiac Anaesthetist & Intensivist)