The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to anesthesia:
Anesthesia – pharmacologically induced and reversible state of amnesia, analgesia, loss of responsiveness, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes or decreased sympathetic nervous system, or all simultaneously. This allows patients to undergo surgery and other procedures without the distress and pain they would otherwise experience. An alternative definition is a "reversible lack of awareness," including a total lack of awareness (e.g. a general anesthetic) or a lack of awareness of a part of the body such as a spinal anesthetic.
Anesthesia can be described as all of the following: