During sedation you will be comfortable and relaxed for your procedure but will still be able to respond to instructions. You will usually have very little memory of the procedure.
• Local anaesthesia: Local anaesthetic involves using an anaesthetic drug to numb a specific area of the body e.g a hand or foot. Often used for minor procedures, it can be used alone when the patient is awake or in combination with sedation. Numbing a particular area with local anaesthetic can also be useful in controlling post operative pain.
• Regional anaesthesia: Regional anaesthesia involves administering drugs to clusters of nerves to numb a larger part of the body. Examples include an epidural (often given to women in labour), nerve blocks or spinal anaesthesia. These forms of anaesthesia allow you to stay awake during your procedure whilst remaining pain free. The advantage of this technique is that it can also be useful in providing long lasting pain relief for many hours after your operation, therefore avoiding the use of other pain drugs and their associated side effects.
• General anaesthesia: During a general anaesthetic the Anaesthetist administers drugs so that you are unconscious or ‘asleep’ for your operation. During this time your muscles and protective reflexes are relaxed. When a general anaesthetic is reversed you will wake up with no awareness or memory of what has occurred.