Anesthesia is the desensitization of the body that becomes necessary before surgery. It is induced through the use of drugs and may affect the whole or part of the body.

Through general anesthesia, the patient is completely asleep and under anesthesia and is therefore not conscious during the procedure. Local and regional anesthesia, on the other hand, concerns only the area that is subjected to the operation.


(Dr. Orazio Difrancesco, an anesthetist in Humanitas, explains how the awakening from anesthesia occurs – video)


Discontinuation of drug administration

Awakening occurs by discontinuing the administration of drugs that keep the patient asleep. Today, we have ever safer, more tolerable and more effective medicines with a shorter duration. This also means that the patient eliminates them from the body faster than in the past.

Given its short duration, the anesthetist continues to administer anesthetic drugs during surgery, either intravenously or through inhalation, controlling the patient’s reflexes, consciousness and vital parameters. When you want the patient to wake up, you just need to stop administering the medication and they will wake up in a matter of minutes.

If anesthetic drugs of a slightly longer duration have been used, a different form of drugs are used that replace the anesthetics and thus allow the patient to return to a wakeful state,” explains Dr. Difrancesco.