A: There are three different types of anesthesia: 1. Local anesthesia involves an injection of a local anesthetic (numbing agent) directly into the surgical area to block pain sensations. It is used only for minor procedures. You may remain awake, though you might receive medicine to help you relax or sleep during the surgery. 2. Regional anesthesia involves injection of a local anesthesia around major nerves or the spinal cord to block pain from a larger but still limited part of the body. 3. General anesthesia is given intravenously (into a vein) or is inhaled. It affects the brain as well as the entire body. You are completely unaware and do not feel pain during the surgery or procedure.