This is a concise, accessible introduction to the essentials of anesthesia, suitable for medical students, junior doctors, nurse anesthetists, and all operating theatre staff. It provides a brief, broad overview of the science and practice of anesthesia without overwhelming the reader with intimidating detail. The first section of the book describes the evaluation of the patient, the different approaches to anesthesia, and the postoperative care of the patient in pain. The next section introduces the essentials of physiology and pharmacology and their role in understanding the principles of anesthesia. The final section presents a step by step description of clinical cases, ranging from the simplest to the most complex. These clinical vignettes give a very real introduction to the practicalities of anesthesia and will give the non-anesthetist physician an idea of how to prepare a patient for a surgical procedure.