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Anesthesia is commonly used to induce unconsciousness during surgery. The medicine can either be inhaled through a breathing mask, or given through an IV. It can also be administered through a shot. There are different types of anesthesia used in medicine. There is local, regional, and general anesthesia. 

Local anesthesia is used to temporarily stop the sense of pain in an area of the body. The individual usually stays conscious during a local anesthetic. Doctors typically use local anesthesia for minor surgeries like root canal therapy, and mole removal. Common drugs used as a local anesthetic include lidocaine and procaine. The former has a rapid onset, while the latter is slow.

Regional anesthesia is used to numb only the portion of the body that is undergoing surgery. Usually an injection of local anesthetic is given to the nerves of the area. Examples of this areorthopedic and spine procedures and epidurals.

General anesthesia is used to medically induce a coma during surgery. Sometimes, a breathing tube is inserted into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing of the patient. Once the procedure has been completed, the anesthesiologist ceases the anesthetic and the patient is taken into another room for monitoring. Anesthesia of this type can be used in surgeries such as open heart surgery.

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