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You can download the York Teaching Hospital patient information leaflet on Anaesthesia here.

Anaesthetist 1Anaesthetists

Anaesthetists are doctors with specialist training in providing anaesthetics. You will either meet an anaesthetist prior to your surgery or on the day of surgery. They will:

  • Ask about your health
  • Discuss types of anaesthesia
  • Discuss the benefits, risks and your preferences
  • Agree a plan with you for your anaesthetic and pain control
  • Be responsible for your wellbeing and safety during surgery

Medications 1Types of anaesthesia

The type of anaesthetic you have depends on a number of factors including what operation you are having, what your preferences are and your health. Types of anaesthesia include:

  • Local anaesthesia: involves injections which numb a small part of your body. You stay conscious but free from pain.
  • Regional anaesthesia: involves injections which numb a larger or deeper part of the body. You may or may not recieve sedation during your surgery. Your anaesthetist will discuss this with you.
  • General anaesthesia: gives a state of controlled unconsciousness.

Anaesthetic RoomThe anaesthetic room

Your anaesthetic may be started in the operating theatre or in a separate anaesthetic room. You will be asked to lie on a narrow, firm bed called a theatre trolley. A number of machines will be attached to you so we can measure your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. We may put a tube into your vein called a cannula so that we can give you medications. We may put a tube into your artery called an arterial line so we can take blood and monitor your blood pressure continuously.

If you are having a general anaesthetic, this may be started in the following two ways;

  1. We may inject a drug in to your vein
  2. We may ask you to breathe in anaesthetic gasses through a mask


For more information on anaesthesia please see the NHS Choices website.