Anaesthesia stops you feeling pain and other sensations but it’s not just about putting patients to sleep – it’s about total patient care.
Anaesthetists are essential members of the surgical team, and are also involved in developing treatments to relieve chronic pain and offer intensive care support to very sick patients. They are here to make your experience as pleasant and pain free as possible.
Anaesthesia can be given in various ways and does not always make you unconscious. There are three main types of anaesthesia, local, regional and general:
- Local anaesthesia involves injections which numb a small part of your body, you stay conscious but free from pain
- Regional anaesthesia involves injections which numb a larger or deeper part of the body, you stay conscious but free from pain
- General anaesthesia gives a state of controlled unconsciousness and is essential for some operations.You are unconscious and feel nothing.
Your anaesthetist will discuss the different types of anaesthesia and the risks associated with them to help you to make an informed choice. They’ll then agree a plan with you for your anaesthetic and pain control. They are responsible for giving you your anaesthetic and for your well-being and safety throughout your surgery. If you need any blood transfusions they will manage this and if you need to be transferred to intensive care they will plan your care.
Patient information leaflets
- You and your anaesthetic
- Regional Anaesthetic
- Regional Anaesthetic for Arm and Hand Operations (Upper Limb Surgery)
- Post Epidural Infusion or Injection Instruction Leaflet
- Why do I need to see an anaesthetist during my pregnancy?