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How does Anesthesia work?

Since early nineties, doctors and surgeons have been using anesthesia on patients while performing any operations or surgery. Anesthesia creates a feeling of numbness, unconsciousness and analgesia (lack of pain).

There are two types of anesthesia:

  • Local, and
  • General

Local Anesthesia is used to numb a specific part of the body. It blocks the nerve so that pain sensation from that body part doesn’t travel to the brain. Epidural injections are most commonly used anesthesia used to numb specific body part like tooth or spinal cord.

General Anesthesia makes the patient completely unconscious and is normally used in case of some major surgery. Ether and Chloroform are well known examples of general anesthesia.

Now the question is how does it work?

Anesthesia when inserted in the body attacks on the nerve cells and blocks the passage between the body part and the brain so that any pain signals doesn’t reach the brain. Basically, the anesthetic interrupts the flow of sodium through the membrane of neurons and nerves, so that does not develop the nerve impulse and the painful stimulus is not transported to the brain.

So if the brain does not receive any information from the part of the body which is in pain you actually don’t feel the pain, but yes once the effect of anesthesia goes away the body starts to feel the pain.

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