The general anaesthetic

Learn more about general anaesthetic drugs and intravenous induction agents that provide the foundation for modern surgical intervention.

The recovery room

This area of the theatre complex is for you to fully emerge from the anaesthetic before being transferred back to your bed in the ward.

Maintaining anaesthesia

Your anaesthetist’s first task will be to change the anaesthetic gases coming from the machine through an anaesthetic circuit of tubes from pure oxygen to a mixture of oxygen, nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and one of the inhalational agents.


Surgery is painful, and merely being asleep does not mean that you body will not unconsciously feel and react to the surgeon’s activities.

Maintaining the level of anaesthesia

Throughout the operation your anaesthesia will see that the level of anaesthesia is kept just as deep as is necessary, that you are not feeling pain and that you are sufficiently relaxed for the surgeon to perform his task.

Your dignity

On the operating table a patient may feel very vulnerable and exposed. You should know, however, that doctors and nurses are very respectful of your dignity.

The general anaesthetic

Modern anaesthetic drugs have made the induction of anaesthesia a simple, stress-free and safe experience.

Fluid therapy

During anaesthesia there is a shift of fluids within the body and also a loss of body fluids, including bleeding from the operation site which the anaesthetist must monitor.

Reversal of anaesthesia

When the surgeon has completed the operation your anaesthetist will withdraw the anaesthetic gases, will reverse any muscle relaxation and will ensure that you have sufficient analgesia so that you do not wake up in pain.

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