What is anaesthesia?
Anaesthesia is given to patients so that surgery and other medical procedures can be carried out safely, and without pain.
The word anaesthesia means ‘loss of sensation’. People under anaesthetic will ‘lose’ feelings of pain and other sensations.
Anaesthetists are specialist doctors who are responsible for providing anaesthesia to patients for operations and procedures.
In addition anaesthetists have a range of practice which extends beyond anaesthesia for surgery to include pain management and intensive care.
What we do
Anaesthesia is part of Rotorua and Taupō Hospital's Surgical and Elective Services arm.
This is a large team consisting of specialist anaesthetists, registrars and senior house officers, anaesthetic technicians, pain nurse practitioner and pain nurse specialist, manager and administration support.
The full scope of practice includes:
- Anaesthesia for elective surgery in both Rotorua and Taupō
- Anaesthesia for emergency surgery – 24hr service
- Intensive Care Unit cover
- Acute Pain Service
- Obstetric Anaesthesia
- Pre-Anaesthetic Assessment Clinics
Rotorua Hospital, Pukeroa St, Rotorua
Your appointment letter will tell you where to go.
Phone: 07 348 1199
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
An anaesthetic is used to temporarily remove sensations, so painful procedures can be performed.
There are two types:
General Anaesthetic - where you are made unconscious
Local Anaesthetic - where an area is numbed, which includes a spinal or epidural
Food is not allowed for six hours prior to your operation, but water may be taken up to two hours.
It is also important you do not chew gum or suck lollies during this time either.
Breastfed babies can have their last feed four hours before their operation.
Solids or formula milk has to be six hours before their 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.
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.
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.
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.