This is one of the largest departments in our Trust. It includes 30 consultant anaesthetists, eight non-consultant specialist doctors and 18 trainees.
They are supported by a nurse specialist in acute inpatient pain management.
The department’s doctors provide elective and emergency anaesthetic services to all departments in the Trust, in seven main operating theatres and four day-surgery theatres.
They also manage the Critical Care Unit and acute and chronic pain services, and provide anaesthetic services to the Maternity department, the assisted conception unit and the outpatient dental suite.
Consultant anaesthetic clinics are also provided to the pre-operative assessment services and the ante-natal obstetric units, where women may need additional anaesthetic advice before giving birth.
Many of the doctors also provide educational advice and teaching in the high-fidelity simulation suite.
What is an anaesthetic?
An anaesthetic stops you feeling pain during a procedure. There are several types:
General anaesthesia: You are given drugs, either as an injection or through inhaling certain gases, to make you unconscious and pain free.
Local anaesthesia: An injection numbs a small part of your body so you are free from pain but still conscious.
Regional anaesthesia: Also known as a “block”. Injections numb a particular region of your body, such as an arm or your legs. You remain conscious but pain free.
You can find out more about blocks at the Royal College of Anaesthetists website, https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/patient-information
Sedation: Small amounts of anaesthetic can be used to induce a drowsy state so that you feel relaxed during an investigation or procedure. You may remember little or nothing about what happens.
Once it has been decided you need a procedure, you must attend an appointment in our pre-assessment clinic before the operation can go ahead.
At this appointment a nurse or doctor will ask about your health and do some investigations, including blood tests.
You can find out more about what to expect when you come for an operation at Kingston Hospital as an inpatient or in day surgery by following these links.