This section aims at offering you and your relatives, information regarding your anaesthesia.

What is anaesthesia?

The word anaesthesia means ‘loss of sensation’.

  • It stops you from feeling pain and other sensations
  • It can be given in various ways
  • Not all types of anaesthesia makes you unconscious

Drugs used for anaesthesia works by blocking the signals from the nerves to the brain. Once the effect of the drugs wear off, you will start to feel normal sensation again.

The anaesthetist (anaesthesiologist)

Anaesthetists are doctors who have had special training

  • In anaesthesia. They will be responsible for giving your anaesthesia
  • In the treatment of all types of pain including labour & chronic pain
  • In the care of very ill patients in the intensive care setting
  • In emergency care

They will help you

– By discussing the pros and cons of different types of anaesthesia and the risks involved with you and help you to make choices for your surgery in terms of anaesthesia and pain control

– Look after your well being and safety throughout your surgery

– Make your experience as calm and pain free as possible

Types of anaesthesia

There are different types of anaesthesia, such as:

Local anaesthesia

It involves injections to numb a small part of your body. You stay conscious but free from your pain. Example: A local anaesthetic is injected into your gums if you need a tooth extraction.


Sedatives are used to help patients relax during medical procedures. They relieve anxiety and cause temporary relaxation without putting you to sleep. You will remember very little about the treatment done under sedation. Sedative drugs do not block the pain signals to the brain, so local or regional anaesthesia is often given as well.

Sedation can be given via gas inhalation, swallowing tablets or via injections. It is commonly used during many procedures such as colonoscopy, gastroscopy and cataract operations.

Regional anaesthesia

It can be used in operations on larger or deeper parts of the body. Local anaesthetic drugs are injected to the bundle of nerves that carry signals from that area of the body to the brain. You stay conscious but free from pain. Example: a spinal anaesthetic for a caesarean section or knee operations.

General anaesthesia

It is a state of controlled unconsciousness through which surgery can be performed. The anaesthetist will take control over your breathing, blood pressure and other vital functions of your body. Unconsciousness from anaesthesia is different from sleep.

Techniques of anaesthesia can be combined to give maximum benefit for you.

Example: For some operations, an anaesthetist might offer you a regional anaesthetic method with general anaesthesia to provide you with good pain control after the operation.