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A 35-year-old member asked:

Is general anesthesia caused by a gas or an injection?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Both: Usually a general anesthetic involves both a gas that one would inhale, and intravenous medications given through an IV site.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Either or both: General anesthesia is a state of unconsciousness and lack of reaction to painful stimuli. It can be brought on by intravenous medications such as propofol, sodium pentothal, and ketamine. Anesthesia gases (desflurane, sevoflurane) will also produce general anesthesia. Often you will receive a combination of both during surgery.
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
Anesthesiology 29 years experience
A balanced : General anesthetic usually combines intravenous and inhaled medications. It is also possible to use only gases or only intravenous medications.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
IV to start: Usually a general anesthetic is started with medications given through the iv, and then transitioned to medications given via an endotracheal tube. These would be the anesthesia gasses.

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Last updated Nov 23, 2016

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