TYPES OF ANAESTESIA

General anaesthesia

  • Often referred to as a “GA”.
  • We will put you in a state of controlled unconsciousness which will make you unaware of your surroundings. This is done with the aid of injected medication or inhaled gasses or a combination thereof.
  • These agents inhibit feeling, nerve conduction and movement at the level of the brain and the nerves.

Local anaesthesia

  • Often called “local”.
  • Parts of your body are numbed to prevent you from feeling anything in a certain body part or moving it.
  • This can be used as a sole method of anaesthesia. It can also be used in conjunction with general anaesthesia. In either case, it will aid you with post-operative pain relief.
i. Regional anaesthesia
  • Neuraxial blocks: Local anaestetic is injected into your lower back and will not only numb your lower body, but temporarily paralyze your lower body e.g.:
    • Spinal
    • Epidural
    • Caudal
  • Peripheral nerve blocks: Local anaesthetic is injected around one or a group of nerves, making a limb or a part of a limb numb and temporarily paralyzed. This could range from a whole limb to as little as a single finger or toe.
ii. Local infiltration: Local anaesthetic is injected into the operation site to minimise pain and cause numbness.

Conscious sedation

  • Drugs and gasses are used to make you drowsy yet rousable.
  • Sedation is often combined with some form of local anaesthesia.
  • Eye surgery (cataract removal) and large joint replacements are often done with a local anaestesia/sedation combination.
  • Endoscopic investigation of your stomach and bowel are predominantly done under sedation alone.