Frequently Asked Questions

Anaesthesia refers to loss of pain sensation and absence of other sensations, which is induced by administration of gases (breathing in) or injection of drugs to allow surgical procedures to be performed without undue discomfort of distress. There are different types of anaesthesia and the type you receive will be determined by various factors like the type of procedure, your health, and your preference.

Types of Anaesthesia

  • Local Anaesthesia is produced by application of a local anaesthetic to numb a small part of the body. The superficial nerves are blocked using drops; sprays, ointments or injections while you stay conscious but free of pain. Common examples of surgery under local anaesthesia include removal of stitches, having teeth removed and common eye operations.
  • Regional anaesthesia is an umbrella term used to describe injection of local anaesthetic near to the nerves supplying a larger or deeper area of the body to render that area numb. Types of regional anaesthesia are nerve blocks (surgery on arm, shoulder, leg), epidural blocks and spinal blocks (operations on lower body e.g. caesarean section, bladder surgery, hip and knee surgery).
  • Sedation is used for minimally invasive procedures like gastroscopies and colonoscopies. It involves using small amounts of anaesthetic drugs to produce a ‘sleep like’ state that makes you physically and mentally relaxed.
  • General anaesthesia is a drug-induced state of controlled unconsciousness where you will not respond to any stimulus including pain. A general anaesthetic is essential for major operations like heart surgery and abdominal surgery. General anaesthesia induced unconsciousness is different from natural sleep in that you can only be woken from an anaesthetic once the drugs are stopped and their effects wear off.