noun Medicine/Medical, Pathology.
- 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.
- local or general loss of bodily sensation, esp of touch, as the result of nerve damage or other abnormality
- loss of sensation, esp of pain, induced by drugs: called general anaesthesia when consciousness is lost and local anaesthesia when only a specific area of the body is involved
- a general dullness or lack of feeling
- the usual US spelling of anaesthesia
1721, “loss of feeling,” Modern Latin, from Greek anaisthesia “want of feeling, lack of sensation (to pleasure or pain),” from an- “without” (see an- (1)) + aisthesis “feeling,” from PIE root *au- “to perceive” (see audience). As “a procedure for the prevention of pain in surgical operations,” from 1846.
alternative spelling of anaesthesia (q.v.). See ae.
- 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.
- A drug that induces partial or total loss of sensation and may be topical, local, regional, or general, depending on the method of administration and area of the body affected.
- 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.
Loss of sensation or consciousness. Anesthesia can be induced by an anesthetic, by acupuncture, or as the result of injury or disease.