Medicine/Medical. general or local insensibility, as to pain and other sensation, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.
Pathology. general loss of the senses of feeling, as pain, heat, cold, touch, and other less common varieties of sensation.
Psychiatry. absence of sensation due to psychological processes, as in conversion disorders.
the usual US spelling of anaesthesia

alternative spelling of anaesthesia (q.v.). See ae.

anesthesia an·es·the·sia (ān’ĭs-thē’zhə)

Total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensibility, induced by disease, injury, acupuncture, or an anesthetic.

Local or general insensibility to pain with or without the loss of consciousness, induced by an anesthetic.

Total or partial loss of sensation to touch or pain, caused by nerve injury or disease, or induced intentionally, especially by the administration of anesthetic drugs, to provide medical treatment. The first public use of ether to anesthetize a patient in Boston in 1846 initiated widespread acceptance of anesthetics in the Western world for surgical procedures and obstetrics. General anesthesia, administered as inhalation or intravenous agents, acts primarily on the brain, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness. Regional or local anesthesia affects sensation in a specific anatomic area, and includes topical application of local anesthetics, blocking of peripheral nerves, spinal anesthesia, and epidural anesthesia, which is used commonly during childbirth.
anesthesia [(an-is-thee-zhuh)]

Loss of sensation or consciousness. Anesthesia can be induced by an anesthetic, by acupuncture, or as the result of injury or disease.


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