What is local anesthesia?

Local Anesthesia
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Local anesthesia: Overview

Local anesthesia is medicine used to block pain from a part of the body. The medicines are often injected into the area that needs to be numbed. But they may also be put on the skin as a liquid or gel. Or they may be given as eyedrops.

The medicines start to work very quickly. They can last from around 30 minutes to up to 6 hours or more.

This medicine can be used for things like stitches or a skin biopsy. It can also be used to numb an I.V. site. Sometimes it may be used with sedatives. Those are medicines that make a person feel relaxed or sleepy.

Local anesthesia is very safe. Serious problems are rare.

Local anesthesia

Local anesthesia is a method to deliver pain control medicine to a specific area. It can be injected or applied to the skin or mucous membranes to numb an area and its surrounding tissues.

Local anesthesia does not make the person sleepy or relieve other pains. But it may be used along with other medicines that have properties to relax the person or provide stronger pain relief.

How can you care for yourself after local anesthesia?

  • Follow all instructions from your doctor about how to take care of the area that was numbed.
  • Be careful not to injure the area while it's still numb.
    • If you move the area, move it slowly and carefully.
    • Be careful with hot and cold. Since you won't feel pain, it's easier for damage from heat or cold to happen.

What are the risks of local anesthesia?

Serious problems (including allergic reactions) are very rare. But if the medicine is given in higher doses or if it enters the bloodstream, there can be some side effects. Examples include ringing in the ears, dizziness, and a metal taste in the mouth.

What is local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia uses medicine (anesthetics) to block pain from a part of the body. The medicine affects only the area near where the medicine was injected or applied.

Local anesthesia: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You are having problems, such as a rash in the area that was numbed.
  • You are not getting better as expected.

How is local anesthesia done?

Anesthesia medicines are usually given by injection into the area that needs to be numbed. They may also be applied onto the skin or mucus membranes as a liquid or gel or given as eyedrops. This is called topical anesthesia.

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