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An estimated 40 million anesthetics are administered every year in the United States. Anesthesiologists provide or participate in 90 percent of these procedures.
*Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists

Understanding Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of a patient before, during and after surgery. During surgery, a doctor called an anesthesiologist administers a drug called an anesthetic, which is designed to reduce or prevent pain.

There are four main types of anesthetics:

  • Local: These numb specific areas of your body, while you remain awake and alert.
  • Conscious or intravenous (IV) sedation: These are mild sedatives designed to relax and ease pain while you remain awake, although you might not remember the surgery.
  • Regional: These block pain through an entire area of the body, such as a leg or arm. An epidural, which numbs the lower region of a woman during childbirth, is an form or regional anesthesia
  • General: These numb your entire body, causing you to go to sleep and remember nothing of the procedure.

Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists throughout WellStar Health System, at five hospitals, offer outstanding anesthetic care for WellStar patients.

WellStar’s anesthesiologists maintain responsibility for their patients from initial administration of pain-relieving drugs through the procedure and post-surgical recovery. In the operating room, they provide continual medical assessment of the patient and maintain vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and body temperature. They also control the patient’s pain and consciousness to ensure optimal surgical conditions.

Their services include administration of anesthesia for surgery and all-related procedures, management of acute and chronic pain, injections and nerve blocks, spinal-infusion systems, obstetrical analgesia, critical care and other procedures.


The type of anesthesia administered during a procedure depends on the type of surgery as well as the patient’s health. For minor procedures, injections of anesthesia may be administered by a medical doctor or specially trained nurse. For all major procedures, the drugs are administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist.