- When you attend your outpatients appointment you will be advised about what type of anaesthetic is appropriate for your surgery. This will depend on a number of factors which include your general well-being and fitness, social circumstances, length and type of surgery.
- Anaesthesia is basically defined as 'absence of sensation', derived from the Greek word meaning 'without feeling', and there are two types;
1. General Anaesthesia
2. Local Anaesthesia
- General Anaesthesia/Anaesthetics may be introduced into the body by two main routes, either intravenously (directly into the vein via a small, very fine tube), or by inhalation (breathing the substance in via a face mask). No matter which route is chosen the drug eventually reaches the brain through the circulation and the patient loses both consciousness (goes to sleep) and sensation (feeling) for a certain amount of time which is determined by the anaesthetist (the specialist doctor who is in charge of your anaesthetic and pain control).
- Before having a general anaesthetic you will be required to fast for a certain amount of time, which will be explained to you at your preoperative assessment. For more information click here.
- After having a general anaesthetic on the Day Surgery Unit you will be required to stay for a minimum of two hours, this again will depend on the type of surgery you have had, and you will again be advised about this at your preoperative assessment.
- Local Anaesthesia/Anaesthetics describes a form of anaesthetic which produces selective loss of feeling (numbness) in the area where the injection is given*. This type of anaesthesia is often used for minor surgery, and the patient stays awake throughout.
- Before having a local anaesthetic there is no need to fast, and you can eat and drink normally prior to surgery.
- After having local anaesthesia you will normally be allowed to go home shortly after your surgery, and you will be advised on the day how long the effects of the local anaesthetic will last, and precautions to be taken until the effects have worn off.
- *For examination of the bladder (Cystoscopy) local anaesthesia is produced by applying a local anaesthetic gel into the urethra (the tube which leads to your bladder).
- If you are unsure about whether you are having a General OR Local Anaesthetic please contact the unit for more information.
- IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER IF YOU ARE HAVING A GENERAL ANAESTHETIC AND DO NOT FAST, YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO HAVE SURGERY ON THAT DAY.