Local anesthesia is a way to numb a specific area of the body so that a medical procedure can be done without causing pain. Some operations, many dental procedures, and different types of diagnostic tests can be done using local anesthesia alone. Local anesthesia medications do not make a person sedated or produce unconsciousness. However, sedation, in which individuals are given medications to make them comfortable and to block memory, is often given along with local anesthesia for many types of procedures. Using local anesthesia alone avoids the side effects of sedation medications and medications used to produce general anesthesia (making an individual unconscious for a procedure). Local anesthetic solutions often provide long-lasting pain relief to the area where they have been applied. Many operations, such as appendectomy (removal of the appendix), cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), and open heart surgery, require general anesthesia. Other procedures, including some orthopedic surgery, urological surgery, and female reproductive surgery (including most cesarean deliveries), can be done after a person is given regional anesthesia (such as spinal anesthesia or epidural anesthesia).