Your Anaesthetic

We provide a range of anaesthetic options including general anaesthesia, spinal or epidural anaesthesia, and local anaesthetic nerve blocks. This allows us to custom make your anaesthetic to provide the best quality of stay in the hospital.

For detailed information, please click on the image below for a helpful patient information guide produced by The Royal College of Anesthetists and The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

There are also information leaflets for children and young people, specifically written and designed with advice from children and parents. Please click on the images below to view.

anaesthesia information for children and young people

Frequently asked questions

These are some of the commonly asked questions, but you may have many more. Don't be afraid to ask your anaesthetist about any concerns you may have during your pre-operative visit.

Q. Will I see the anaesthetist before the operation?
A. Yes. Your anaesthetist will visit you beforehand and discuss the plan for your anaesthetic and pain relief. If there are special problems we can arrange for an anaesthetic review in outpatients clinic.

Q. How long should I starve before surgery? Why?
A. Before your operation, you should not eat for 6 hours. This includes milk, milk-containing drinks such as white tea or coffee and fresh fruit drinks. You can drink water until 2 hours before your operation. We will give you estimated times to stop eating and drinking before your admission.
You must follow the rules absolutely. Nothing means nothing, including water. If you make a mistake do tell those caring for you on the ward, because your operation may need to be postponed for your own safety. The reasons are as follows; your anaesthetist cares for you in a state of carefully controlled loss of consciousness (general anaesthesia). Your body reflexes are suppressed. If your stomach contains food and drink there is a danger of vomiting or regurgitation silently. This can easily spill into your lungs and affect your breathing with the risk of infection.

Q. Should I take my normal medicines?
A. In general, you should take your medicine as normal. For specific medicines such as insulin, blood thinners, or ACE inhibitors (medicines ending in 'pril' eg.captopril, enalopril, lisinopril, perindopril, rampril) we will give you advice in advance.

Q. Will I feel pain after my operation?
A. We will use a variety of techniques to reduce your pain after the operation. This will include the use of local anaesthetic during the operation and regular tablet painkillers afterwards. We may use strong painkillers such as morphine. If we do, this is often given via a pump that you control, called a PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia). Alternatively, your anaesthetist may recommend a spinal or epidural anaesthetic that may also be used to help with your pain relief after the operation.

Q. What should I do if I have a cough or cold?
A. If you are feeling unwell please contact us before coming to the hospital. It is possible that it would be safer to reschedule your operation.

For detailed and extensive information on all aspects of anaesthesia, including risk, please visit the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

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