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Anesthesiology, as defined by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. According to the ASA, each year more than 45 million anesthetics are given to patients in the United States.

People who might need information about anesthesia include:

  • Surgical patients
  • Patients undergoing painful or uncomfortable non-surgical procedures – e.g. endoscopy, colonoscopy, MRI studies
  • Children (and their parents) undergoing various procedures which an adult might handle without anesthesia, but which is much easier and safer to accomplish with anesthesia