You and Your Anaesthetic
Information to help patients prepare for an anaesthetic
This page aims to offer you an introduction to anaesthesia. There are wide differences in how much information people want. Only you can know how much you want to know. We offer some information here and at the end we suggest where you can find out more. Always remember that your anaesethetist can answer specific questions for you and help you to determine your best choice of anaesthesia based on what your personal health status, the surgery you are having and the experience and knowledge of your anaesthetist. Produced by Dr Michelle Reichman whilst she was training at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres.
3. LOCAL ANAESTHETIC
What is a local anaesthetic?
A local anaesthetic is a drug that is injected into the tissues to make them numb.
Local anaesthetics temporarily stop nerves working so that you do not feel pain. The simplest form of local anaesthesia is to inject the drug just around the area where the operation is going to take place. It is also possible to numb all the nerves to an arm or a leg.
Are there any alternatives to a local anaesthetic?
If you are concerned about being awake during the operation, it may be possible for it to be performed under a general anaesthetic.
What complications can happen?
• Not enough pain relief
• Allergic reaction
• Nerve damage
• Absorption into the bloodstream
For further information, please click on a lnk below:
Introduction to anaesthesia
Regional anaesthetics including epidural anaesthesia and Spinal anaesthesia
Pain relief after surgery
Further information from the Royal College of Anaesthetists for patients is available by clicking here
The Royal College of Anaesthetists have also created a series of leaflets on the following subjects that you can download from here:
You and your anaesthetic
Your child's general anaesthetic
Headache after epidural or spinal anaesthetic
Your spinal anaesthetic
Anaesthetic choices for hip or knee replacement
Epidurals for pain relief after surgery
Your child's general anaesthetic for dental treatment
Your tonsillectomy as day surgery
Local anaesthesia for eye surgery
Your anaesthetic for aortic surgery
For further information from NHS Choices on what local anaesthesia is, click here
For further information:
Royal College of Anaesthetists at www.rcoa.ac.uk
Royal College of Anaesthetists and Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland at www.youranaesthetic.info
NHS smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169 and at www.gosmokefree.co.uk
www.eatwell.gov.uk – for advice on maintaining a healthy weight
www.eidoactive.co.uk – for information on how exercise can help you
www.aboutmyhealth.org - for support and information you can trust
Who supplies the information for this website?
There are many sources of information now available to us all on the internet, what we have endeavoured to do with this site is to bring together reliable sources of information from NHS Choices (National Health Service), BBC Health as well as links to patient and carer organisations, charities and others that we feel can be trusted. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use and ALWAYS CONSULT A DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL IF YOU REQUIRE MEDICAL HELP
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