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Local Anesthesia

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia is medicine used to numb a small part of your body. It is used during minor surgery or procedures, such as a biopsy or dental care. You should not feel pain, but you may still feel pressure.

How do I prepare to receive local anesthesia?

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare. Depending on where local anesthesia will be applied, you may need to arrange to have someone drive you home.
  • Tell your provider about all your allergies, including to any kind of anesthesia. Tell him or her if you or anyone in your family has ever had problems with anesthesia. Your provider will also need to know if you have any medical conditions.
  • Tell your provider about all your current medicines. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before you receive local anesthesia, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.

What will happen when local anesthesia is applied?

  • Your healthcare provider will give you an injection or apply anesthesia medicine onto your skin.
  • Local anesthesia is given directly over the area where you will have your procedure. You may feel burning for a few seconds after you get the local anesthesia. This is temporary.
  • Your provider may also give you conscious sedation or deep sedation to help you sleep during your procedure.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What should I expect after I have local anesthesia?

It may take several hours for feeling to come back to the area. You will need to be careful so you do not injure or burn the area.

What are the risks of local anesthesia?

You may have a severe reaction to the anesthesia. Even with local anesthesia, you may feel some pain. The medicine may go outside the area being numbed, or you may get too much medicine. These problems can cause serious injury.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Treatment options

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.