What is a general anaesthetic?
A general anaesthetic is a combination of drugs that causes deep sleep. It is used for operations or procedures where you need to be in a state where you do not move and your muscles are relaxed, so that your surgeon can perform the operation safely. You will not be aware of what is happening and afterwards you will not be aware of anything that has happened.
How is a general anaesthetic given?
Most people are sent to sleep by injecting the anaesthetic through a drip (small tube) into a vein. It takes about 30 seconds to work. For some people, it may be more appropriate to go to sleep by breathing an anaesthetic gas through a face mask. This also takes about 30 seconds to work.
Is a general anaesthetic safe?
A general anaesthetic is safe for most people.
Your anaesthetist may need to do some tests before the operation to assess how safe a general anaesthetic is for you. These may include an ECG, blood tests or lung-function tests.
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
Iain Moppett (DM, MRCP, FRCA)
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The operation and treatment information on this webpage is produced using information from EIDO Systems International and is licensed by Horder Healthcare. The information should not replace the advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
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