If you are coming to hospital for a medical or surgical procedure, you will mostly likely need to be given anaesthesia.

Anaesthesia allows doctors to perform medical and surgical procedures without causing you undue distress or discomfort. Most people undergo anaesthesia at some stage in their lives, such as during the birth of a baby or during surgery. They may be anaesthetised for a short, simple day surgery or for major surgery requiring complex, rapid decisions.

Modern anaesthesia is relatively safe due to high standards of training that emphasise quality and safety. There also have been improvements in drugs and equipment. Advances in anaesthesia have also resulted in patients being able to have more complex surgery as a day procedure because of more rapid recovery with modern anaesthesia. This has also enabled many of the advances in surgery.

Australia has one of the best patient safety records in the world, thanks to increased support for research to improve anaesthesia.

There are several types of anaesthesia:

  • General anaesthesia - getting an injection and wearing a mask to be 'put to sleep' before an operation. You will not feel any pain. You may experience some changes in breathing and circulation.
  • Local anaesthesia - getting an injection near the area to be operated on. This is usually used for minor surgery, like a cut which needs stitches. It may be used alone or in combination with sedation or general anaesthesia.
  • Regional anaesthesia - getting an injection which blocks the nerves that supply body areas such as the thigh, ankle, forearm, hand or shoulder. Includes 'nerve blocks' and 'spinal blocks'.
  • Procedural sedation - is used for procedures where general anaesthesia is not required. It allows you to tolerate procedures that may otherwise be uncomfortable or painful.
  • Conscious sedation - is a medication-induced state that reduces your level of consciousness. You will be able to respond to verbal commands or touch, but will not feel pain.
  • Analgesia - is medication to stop you from experiencing pain.

Who can use our services

We care for people who are in hospital or need to come to hospital for medical or surgical procedures. You will usually meet your Anaesthetist before and after your procedure, and they will explain everything that will happen to you.

Specialist anaesthetists become involved in the your care prior to surgery. They assess your medical condition and plan your care as part of the surgical team. They closely monitor your health and wellbeing throughout the procedure and help to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery.


Pain Management Service - Aged Royal Park Campus Clinical Centre Reception, Building 17 TUE
Pain Management Service - General Royal Park Campus Clinical Centre Reception, Building 17 THU

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.