This page is designed to provide information regarding anaesthesia; what to expect, what you need to do and links to other useful information.

Anaesthesia refers to the practice of administering medications to block the feeling of pain and other sensations, allowing medical and surgical procedures to be undertaken without causing undue distress or discomfort to the patient. There is no safer country in the world to have an anaesthetic than Australia.

The type of anaesthetic you need will be discussed with your anaesthetist who will see you prior to your surgery. The most common types of anaesthetic are:

  • GENERAL ANAESTHESIA – involves rendering a person unconscious before an operation. This ensures that the person is not aware of events and does not feel pain during the procedure. It is produced by drugs given through a vein and/or breathed from an anaesthetic machine. Your anaesthetist closely watches and monitors you during the operation.
  • SEDATION 'twilight anaesthesia' – involves administration of medication which causes drowsiness: to enable a procedure to be performed with a minimum of discomfort. This is used for procedures such as colonoscopy or gastroscopy, as well as some others. You may remember a little about what happened or you may remember nothing at all.
  • LOCAL ANAESTHESIA – involves the temporary numbing of a small area of the body by direct injection of a drug. You stay conscious but free from pain.

You will see your anaesthetist prior to the procedure; this maybe  immediately prior to the procedure, or if your medical history warrants, a separate earlier appointment maybe required. Depending on the type of anaesthetic you are having you may be required to sign a Consent Form for Anaesthesia.

If you have any concerns or questions that you would like to discuss with your anaesthetist before your day of admission please advise the Admissions Liaison and she will arrange an appointment.

Links for further information:

  1. The Australian Society of Anaesthetists - ‘Anaesthesia and You’
  2. Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
  3. The Royal College of Anaesthetists (United Kingdom)