Patient Information

Undergoing an operation and anaesthetic can be a frightening experience. The links below are to articles which will hopefully give you more information and answer questions.




-           ‘Your Anaesthetic’ – outlines what an anaesthetic involves, effects and risks

-           ‘Spinal Anaesthesia’ – explains what a spinal is, benefits and side effects

-          Your Admission for a Procedure or Surgery’ – Outlines the process that will happen when you are booked for an operation 

-          You and Your Pain Relief’  - gives information about management of your pain whilst in hospital

-          Epidural Pain Relief  – Information on epidurals for post operative pain relief, benefits and risks.

 -          Patient Controlled Analgesia  – Information on ‘PCAs’, how they work and how to use them for post operative pain relief


Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Anaesthetist?
Anaesthetists are specialist doctors who are responsible for supplying anaesthesia for patients for operations. They also have roles in Intensive Care Management, Pain Management and resuscitation
What does the Anaesthetist do?
The Anaesthetist will see you prior to the operation to plan the most appropriate type of Anaesthetic. In theatre they will administer this anaesthetic and stay with you throughout the whole operation, monitoring you closely and supporting organs as necessary. They also supply pain relief and set up plans to ensure you are comfortable after the operation.
What is an Anaesthetic?
An Anaesthetic is used to temporarily remove sensations, so painful procedures can be performed.
There are 2 types
General Anaesthetic - where you are made unconscious
Local Anaesthetic - where an area is numbed, which includes a spinal or epidural
How long before my operation can I eat and drink?
Food is not allowed for 6 hours prior to your operation, but water may be taken up to 2 hours. It is also important you do not chew gum or suck lollies during this time either.
When can my baby have their last feed of milk?
Breast fed babies can have their last feed 4 hours before their operation
Solids or formula milk has to be 6 hours before their operation
Why am I not allowed to eat or drink prior to my operation?
There is a small risk of being sick whilst under anaesthetic and this can pass into the lungs, which can cause serious damage. It is therefore important to have an empty stomach, by following the fasting guidelines prior to your operation
When will I meet the Anaesthetist?
You may meet the anaesthetist in pre-assessment clinic if you have a complicated medical history, or if you are undergoing complex surgery. Otherwise you will see your anaesthetist on the day of surgery to confirm the type of anaesthetic most suited to your needs.
How do the Anaesthetists know how much drug is needed?
If you are undergoing a general anaesthetic you will be given a drug that makes you unconscious. Once you are unconscious you will breathe an anaesthetic agent that keeps you in that state until the surgery is completed. Once the anaesthetic agent is stopped you will wake up very quickly.
When my child has an operation can I go into theatre until they go to sleep?
Generally it is acceptable for one parent to go into theatre until their child is asleep. Sometimes it is not suitable and the Anaesthetist will ask you to wait outside, please do not be offended, it is requested in the best interests and safety of the child.
When my child has an operation can I go into recovery afterwards?
There are usually a number of patients in recovery at one time, therefore to be able to attend to all the patients and maintain their privacy it is not always possible to allow parents access to their children in recovery. We will endeavour to allow parents in if possible.

11/09/2012 4:36 p.m.
Heather Lang