There are four basic types of anesthesia:
- General anesthesia
- Regional anesthesia
- Local anesthesia
If you are having cardiac surgery, you must have general anesthesia, which renders you unconscious, immobile, and unable to experience pain or other sensations. You will also have no recollection of anything that occurred while you were under general anesthesia.
If you are undergoing a diagnostic or therapeutic cardiac procedure in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab or Electrophysiology Lab, you may require only local anesthesia and/or sedation. There are varying levels of sedation, but often you will be given a sedative that produces a “twilight sleep,” in which you are not unconscious, but may fall asleep and have little or no recollection of events.