This achieves a state of controlled unconsciousness during which you feel no sensation. You will receive:
• anaesthetic drugs (an injection into your vein or an anaesthetic gas to breathe)
• strong pain-relief drugs (morphine or something similar)
• occasionally, a drug to relax your muscles
You may need a breathing tube placed in your windpipe or larynx to ensure oxygen and anaesthetic gases move easily into and out of your lungs. If you have been given drugs that relax your muscles, you will not be able to breathe for yourself and a breathing machine (ventilator) will be used. When the surgery is finished, the anaesthetic is reversed. You will regain consciousness and will be able to breathe as normal again.
You can find more information regarding general information about anaesthesia here:
This technique involves injection of anaesthetic and other pain-relieving drugs directly into the spinal canal in your lower back. This is sometimes also called a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.
• Most patients prefer to be sedated during surgery so that they are sleepy and relaxed during the procedure
• You will feel numb from the waist downwards and will not be able to move your legs for a few hours
• You will feel no pain, and will not lose consciousness. However, you can be given a drug to make you sleep if you prefer.
You can find more information on spinal anaesthetics here:
This technique involves the placement, through a needle, of a thin plastic tube (an epidural catheter) into a space near the spinal canal where the nerve roots lie. Anaesthetic and pain-relieving drugs are then delivered through the epidural catheter to achieve the same effect as a spinal anaesthetic.
This is an injection of local anaesthetic near to the nerves which go to your limb. Selected parts of your limb should go numb and will remain pain–free for some hours afterwards. You may also be unable to move your limb properly during this time. If you have a general anaesthetic, this nerve block may be done before the general anaesthetic starts, or it may be done when you are unconscious.
You can find more information on Nerve Blocks here:
Please be aware you can have a combination of anaesthetics. You can access more information regarding anaesthetics from https://rcoa.ac.uk/patient-information/patient-information-resources/patient-information-leaflets-video-resources.
If you have any concerns please ask for different types of anaesthesia at SWLEOC, however your anaesthetist on the day of surgery will discuss which anaesthetic methods are most suitable for you.