Types of Anaesthesia

What is Anaesthesia?

Anaesthesia, deriving from the Greek word ‘anaisthesia’, which means lack of sensation, is what Anaesthetists use to make sure you don’t feel pain during a procedure. Now, this can be done in several ways:

  • General Anaesthesia: Imagine falling into a deep sleep where you feel absolutely nothing. That’s what general anaesthesia is. Administered either through injection or inhalation, it causes unconsciousness and numbs the entire body.
  • Regional Anaesthesia: This is like putting a part of your body to sleep. By injecting a local anaesthetic, sensitivity is lost in a specific region only, say an arm or a leg.
  • Sedation: More like the chill-pill, sedation reduces anxiety and provides pain relief. Although you’re technically awake, chances are you won’t remember a thing about the procedure.

Remember, the type of anaesthesia is tailored to you and your specific needs.

Types of Anaesthesia

There are four primary forms of anaesthesia:

  • general,
  • regional,
  • local and
  • sedation

These types all leverage the administration of certain drugs to bring about changes in sensation, often used separately or interdependently, hinging on the nature of the procedure and the patient’s unique requirements.

The ultimate choice of anesthesia type is determined by several factors, including:

  • the duration and nature of the procedure,
  • patient’s general health condition, \
  • preferences of the patient, the anaesthetist, and the surgeon or
  • other medical professional conducting the procedure.

In any case, careful consideration is given to ensure the most suitable type of anesthesia is employed, offering the best possible pain relief and overall surgical outcome.

General Anaesthesia

What is General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is a medically induced, controlled state of unconsciousness. It ensures you feel no pain during surgical procedures, making it essential for major operations.

Anaesthetic drugs are either injected or inhaled, inhibiting the brain’s response to sensory messages.

Unlike natural sleep, you can’t wake up from this state until the effects of the drugs wear off. During this time, an anaesthetist continuously monitors your health and wellbeing.

Regional Anaesthesia

What is Regional Anaesthesia

Regional anaesthesia is a type of anaesthesia that involves numbing a specific area of the body during surgery without affecting the brain or breathing.

To achieve this, local anaesthetic is injected around major nerve bundles supplying the body region undergoing surgery, such as the thigh, ankle, forearm, hand, shoulder, or abdomen.

This method sometimes employs a nerve-locating device or ultrasound to precisely locate the nerves for the injection.

The duration of the anaesthesia varies based on the local anaesthetic used and the location of injection.

Popular types of regional anaesthesia include spinal, epidural, and plexus block anaesthesia.


What is Sedation?

Sedation is a process where medications are used to help you relax, feel sleepy, or even achieve a state of deep sleep in certain situations. Often referred to as ‘twilight sleep,’ it’s pretty useful in different procedures like endoscopy, cataract surgery, or during the removal of skin lesions.

The comforting part is, they’re doing all this by simply injecting relaxant drugs into a vein in your arm or hand while you enjoy some oxygen through a mask.

The best part? You’ll be all drowsy and comfy throughout the deal and might not even remember much after it’s all done.

Local Anaesthesia

What is Local Anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia, which is all about making a specific part of your body numb, is a simple and common method used to handle the pain during minor surgeries.

Imagine you’ve got a stubborn toenail or a tiny skin lesion that needs removing – a sharp needle pricks just around the surgical site, injecting a special medicine to take the pain away.

So, you’re awake and aware, but thanks to the local anaesthesia, you’re not feeling any discomfort. Plus, it is also used in procedures like teeth extractions and minor eye surgeries.