Anaesthesia means ‘without sensation’. Anaesthesia is administered so that surgery can be carried out safely and without pain. An anaesthetist is a doctor who has specialized training in anaesthesia. All anaesthetists are trained to nationally agreed standards and the anaesthesia team is led by consultant anaesthetists.

Anaesthesia may be given in various ways:

  • Local or regional anaesthesia results in loss of sensation to a particular part of your body. You can be fully awake for surgery under a local or regional anaesthetic, or if you prefer, your anaesthetist may give you sedatives to make you feel drowsy.
  • General Anaesthesia ensures that you are unconscious and feel nothing. Local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia are frequently combined to provide pain relief after surgery.

Information to help you prepare for your anaesthetic has been written by patients, patient representatives and anaesthetists. We hope that you will find this information helpful. If you have further questions, please contact the Honorary Secretary of the AAGBI.

Information for adults

Patient in bedThe AAGBI and RCoA have produced an excellent series of information leaflets to answer your questions about anaesthesia.

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Risks associated with anaesthesia »

Information for children

Anaesthesia for childrenLeaflets have been specifically prepared for children and young people of different ages.

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