Administration of a local anesthetic agent to induce loss of sensation in a small area of the body. It may be applied topically, as in spraying on the skin before removing a small lesion, or it may be injected subcutaneously (beneath the skin). Brief dental and surgical operations are the most common indications for use.
A method used to give medication to induce loss of sensation to prevent pain in a surgical site. Most local anesthetics are given as injections, but ointments or sprays containing an anesthetic agent can also be used. Local anesthetics block the nerve impulses that would otherwise communicate pain signals to the brain during diagnostic procedures, treatments, and surgery. They do not block all sensation; patients may still feel touch or pressure in the anesthetized area. Local anesthetics can be used alone or combined with conscious SEDATION to keep the patient awake but relaxed, drowsy, and insensitive to pain.