Virtually all surgical procedures require some form of anaesthesia however we understand that this can be an
anxious time. We would like to reassure that you are in good hands. Anaesthetists in Australia are specialists in
administering anaesthesia, as well as pain control, resuscitation and managing medical emergencies.
Your Anaesthetist will see you before the procedure, allowing you the opportunity to discuss any concerns. It is
important that you disclose everything that you think is relevant, and also to follow the fasting instructions. Your
Anaesthetist will monitor you during and after surgery to ensure a smooth and trouble-free recovery.
The use of new surgical techniques combined with modern anaesthesia results in more rapid recovery – making
day surgery preferable to overnight hospitalisation. Anaesthesia can be administered in several ways.
Types of Anaesthesia:
Widely used techniques include the following:
Local/Regional: An injection around or behind the surgical site is administered prior to surgery to cause numbness to a large part of the body. It will not leave a scar as a very fine needle is used; however, the puncture site may have some bruising, redness or swelling, which usually heals in a few days.
Benefits of Local Anaesthesia
- Avoids the risks of a general anaesthetic
- Nausea and vomiting after surgery are uncommon
- More rapid recovery
- Generally, postoperative pain or discomfort is minimal
- Eating and drinking can be resumed soon after surgery.
IV Sedation: Local anaesthetic may be combined with IV sedation. IV sedation is anti-anxiety drugs which are administered intravenously in order to make the patient feel relaxed and comfortable during the surgery.
General Anaesthesia: With general anaesthesia you are put into a state of pain free unconsciousness for the duration of the operation. This is achieved by injecting drugs and inhalation of gases. A breathing tube will be put into your windpipe
Topical Anaesthesia: Drops, sprays, ointments or gel are administered to numb the surface of the surgical site before and during the operation.
What are the risks of the anaesthetic?
Modern anaesthesia is generally very safe. Every anaesthetic has a risk of side effects and/or complications. The risk to you will depend on the length and complexity of your surgery and on personal factors such as pre-existing medical conditions, and whether you smoke or are overweight.
Common side effects and complications of anaesthesia may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain and/or bruising at injection sites
- Sore or dry throat and lips
- Blurred/ double vision and dizziness
- Problems in passing urine
- Preparing for your anaesthetic
It is very important not to eat, drink, or chew gum before your surgery. You will be told when to have your last meal and drink. If you eat or drink after that time, your operation maybe delayed or cancelled.
You are at less risk of problems from anaesthetic if you do the following:
- Increase your fitness
- Give up smoking
- Carefully follow the fasting instructions given to you
- Inform your anaesthetist if you are taking any blood thinning medication
- Inform the anaesthetist if you are using recreational drugs as these may interfere with the anaesthetic