Anaesthesia explained

Published: 01/03/2021

What is anaesthesia?

The word anaesthesia means ‘loss of sensation’. It can involve a simple local anaesthetic injection which numbs a small part of the body, such as a finger or around a tooth. It can also involve using powerful drugs which cause unconsciousness or ‘general anaesthesia’.

These drugs also affect the function of the heart, lungs and circulation. As a result, general anaesthesia is only given under the close supervision of an anaesthetist or anaesthesia associate, who is trained to consider the best way to give you an effective anaesthetic while keeping you safe and well.

The drugs used in local anaesthesia work by blocking the signals that pass along your nerves to your brain. When the drugs wear off, you start to feel normal sensations again.