Having an Anaesthetic
Department of Anaesthetics
This information applies to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley and the Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria
If you are coming for an operation in hospital then you will often require an anaesthetic. We provide anaesthesia to allow you to tolerate operations and procedures in comfort and safety. This may be a local anaesthetic where you remain awake, a local anaesthetic with sedation to make you drowsy or a full general anaesthetic where you will be asleep. These techniques are administered by anaesthetists who are doctors who specialise in peri-operative medicine.
Before your operation you may be invited to attend the pre-assessment clinic, these are at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Vale of Leven sites. Here we can discuss your current health and any medications you take as it is important that your general health is as good as it can be before you have an operation.
The choice of anaesthetic technique will often depend on what type of surgery you are having and your anaesthetist will discuss these options with you.
We have provided some more information on each of these options and what options are commonly used in some types of operation.
Types of Anaesthetic:
Anaesthetics for specific operations
Frequently Asked Questions
Are anaesthetics risky? Anaesthetics generally are very safe. However there is a risk with any surgery or anaesthetic no matter how minor. Risks are primarily determined by your own medical history and general health, hence the importance of pre-assessment, and also the type and complexity of surgery. Your anaesthetist will discuss those risks which are relevant and significant to you and we work hard at minimising the risk to you.
What side effects or complications can I expect? Common side effects (about a 1 in 10 chance)
Uncommon but treatable complications (about a 1 in 1,000 chance)
Rare complications (about a 1 in 10,000 chance)
Very rare complications (about a 1 in 1,000,000 chance)
Is there anything I cannot do after my anaesthetic? Your anaesthetic will affect your ability to concentrate, coordinate or make decisions for up to 24 hours. For your own well being it is important that you observe the following precautions for 24 hours after the procedure, particularly if you have had a procedure as a day case:
The most up to date information relating to UK anaesthetic practice can be found through these organisations: