Anaesthetics are medicines that cause loss of feeling or sensation. These numbing medicines mean procedures can be performed by consultants and surgeons without causing pain or discomfort to the patient. We experience feelings because our nerves send signals to our brain. Anaesthesia medicines stop the nerves sending these signals, meaning that while the surgical procedure is going ahead you will not feel anything.
Local anaesthetics and general anaesthetics are the most common types of anaesthetics used. Local anaesthetics are used in procedures considered to be minor, where the patient may remain conscious and only a small area of the body requires numbing. General anaesthetics, however, are used in procedures considered to be major, where the patient will be unconscious and have complete loss of feeling. Sometimes a combination of a spinal block and sedation will be used.
Your expert Circle Anaesthetist will administer the medicine by injecting the medicine, assisting you to inhale a gas, or by applying a spray or ointment to your skin.
Before the anaesthetic is administered, your consultant should discuss with you what type of medicine you will receive and how long the numbing effects will last for. The numbing will wear off with time, but this will vary depending on the type of medicine you receive.