Anaesthetic information for patients
We anaesthetise over 50,000 patients a year across both hospitals, including the Evelina London Children's Hospital. Our department has a special interest in teaching and training, regional anaesthesia, patient optimisation, intra-operative echocardiography, enhanced recovery and difficult airway skills. We have an active role in the simulation centre.
We cover all surgical specialties with the exception of neurosurgery and liver transplantation.
Anaesthetics are given by specially trained doctors called anaesthetists. The anaesthetist is responsible for your wellbeing and safety throughout your surgery and will plan your type of anaesthetic service and pain control with you.
What is an anaesthetic?
Anaesthesia stops you feeling pain during an operation. There are different types of anaesthetic:
- a local anaesthetic uses an injection to numb a part of your body. You stay awake but don’t feel pain
- a regional anaesthetic uses an injection of anaesthetic to numb a larger part of your body (such as an arm or a leg). You stay awake but don’t feel pain
- a general anaesthetic gives a state of controlled unconsciousness during which you feel nothing. This is essential for many operations and you will be asleep for the entire procedure.