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Anaesthesia at UCLH

For your operation you will require an anaesthetic. There are different types of anaesthesia which we describe below. The type will be influenced by the type of surgery, your medical history and level of pain expected afterward. Your anaesthetist will discuss the options with you before surgery.  

Please make the time to review the following resources ahead of your day of surgery. They can be accessed by clicking the underlined links or scanning the QR codes.    

Different types of anaesthesia:

Local anaesthesia involves injections that numb a small part of your body. You stay conscious but free from pain. 

Regional anaesthesia, e.g. a spinal or epidural, involves injections that numb a larger or deeper part of the body. You stay conscious or receive some sedation, but are free from pain.
For some surgery you may be aware of pressure sensations. 

Sedation gives a ‘sleep like’ state and is often used with a local or regional anaesthetic. Sedation may be light or deep and aims to make you comfortable and able to tolerate the procedure. You may remember everything, something or nothing after sedation.
General anaesthesia gives a state of controlled unconsciousness. It is essential for some operations and procedures. You are unconscious and feel nothing. 

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You and your anaesthetic
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Your spinal anaesthetic








For a fit person having a planned procedure, anaesthesia risks are low.

The most serious risks from anaesthesia such as long-term disability or death are extremely rare for most people.

Please use the QR codes or links below to access resources from the Royal College of Anaesthetists about risk and how to prepare for your anaesthetic.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your individual risk or any concerns you may have with your anaesthetist on the day of surgery.  

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Preparing for your anaesthetic
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Risk of anaesthesia








If you would like a paper version of the leaflets available via the links above, please contact UCLH preassessment clinic on:
020 3447 3167

This publication includes text taken from the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ (RCoA) leaflet “You and your anaesthetic” but the RCoA has not reviewed this as a whole.