*** Fellowship Positions in Anaesthesia - Appropriately qualified candidiates who are interested in Fellowship positions in Neuro, Vascular or Liver Transplant Anaesthesia should make contact with Dr. Charles Bradfield, Clinical Director via the link below.***

The Anaesthetic Process
Anaesthesia is essential for all surgery.  Our job is to facilitate pain free surgery and to ensure the safety of the patient before, during and after the surgery. All Anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand are Medical Specialists.

Commencing anaesthesia takes anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or more, to make sure the patient is safe and adequately anaesthetised before surgery begins. The anaesthetic modality may be any one or a mixture of general anaesthesia, sedation, local anaesthesia or "regional anaesthesia" - where individual nerves or parts of the body are anaesthetised specifically. The anaesthetist remains present during surgery to ensure the patient's stability and comfort. 

Once the surgery is finished, patients are transferred to the Recovery Room (PACU) and further monitored to ensure they are remaining stable.  Patients will usually spend an hour in the PACU area prior to being returned to the ward. 

Anaesthesia Assessment
Anaesthetic Assessment Clinics are held at Greenlane Clinical Centre.

All patients attending the clinic will have an opportunity to talk to, and be assessed by an anaesthetist prior to having an anaesthetic. 

We have endeavoured to make this process as user-friendly and useful as possible for our elective patients.  To this end we have set up an Anaesthetic Assessment Clinic that provides anaesthetic risk assessment and patient education for all our elective surgical patients. Patients can be seen well ahead of surgery, allowing them to think about questions they wish to ask and have an opportunity to speak with a professional for as long as necessary.

Epidural Information
Labour and Delivery Epidural information lectures are held at Auckland City Hospital. See below for further information and booking details.

The Anaesthetic Allergy Testing Clinic
The anaesthetic allergy testing clinic will assess people in whom there is a clinical suspicion of an allergic reaction to an agent administered in the peri-operative period.


Referral Expectations

All elective surgical patients will fill in a health questionnaire.  This is then assessed by the anaesthetic clinic nurse who will allocate you, according to the anaesthetic assessment guidelines, to:

  • a 15-minute preoperative anaesthetic assessment or
  • a full anaesthetic assessment which takes up to an hour - this can also be arranged by sending a referral letter to the relevant anaesthetic department.

You will be booked into the clinic and will receive a letter explaining when and where to attend.

You will be seen by an anaesthetist, assessed for your suitability for various forms of anaesthesia, and given information appropriate for you and the type of surgery you are scheduled for.  You will likely also be seen by other members of the surgical team at this appointment also. Please feel free to bring questions to this visit and then to bring the same questions and more to the hospital on the day of your surgery. 

You will meet your allocated anaesthetist prior to going into the operating theatre. There will always be time to answer any questions you have about your anaesthetic, your safety and how we will keep you comfortable.  

Questions about your clinic appointment, or about the perioperative process in general may be directed to

Procedures / Treatments

  • Fasting, Medications and Preparation for your Anaesthetic

    Water (or Clear Oral Fluids) may be taken until 2 hours before entering the operating room.… More

  • Anaesthesia

    Anaesthesia is essential for all surgery. 
    Our job is to facilitate pain-free surgery and to ensure the safety of the patient before, during and after the surgery.… More

  • General Anaesthesia

    A combination of medications are given to make you unconscious.  Although often referred to as "sleep", this unconsciousness is very different from your nightly rejuvenating sleeping.… More

  • Epidural Anaesthesia

    After cleaning and application of a local anaesthetic, we slowly introduce an epidural needle through the skin and ligament of the spine, ultimately into the "epidural" compartment of the spinal column.… More

  • Spinal Anaesthesia

    After cleaning with an antiseptic solution and application of local anaesthetic a very fine needle is introduced into the fluid surrounding the nerves below the spinal cord.  Local anaesthetics and/or opioids are placed into this fluid, which then numbs the lower half of your body to allow the surgery to… More

  • Labour and Delivery Epidural Education

    The anaesthetists at Women's Health, Auckland City Hospital, would like to give you the opportunity to learn about epidurals and their role in pain relief and labour.… More

  • Nerve Blocks

    After cleaning with an aseptic solution, either a nerve stimulator or an ultrasound machine is used to locate the nerves supplying the area for surgery.  Local anaesthetic is then placed near the nerve and the area will go numb.  The surgery can occur without pain.  There may still be some… More

  • Local Anaesthesia

    Local anaesthetic is introduced directly around the area to have surgery and the site goes numb.  Only relatively small areas can be numbed up like this; therefore the limb or area of the body outside of the local anaesthetic retains all its functions.  There may still be movement and pressure… More

  • Sedation

    After placing an intravenous line, we are able to supply medications that allow you to become more relaxed.  In the peri-operative context this is usually used in conjunction with some other form of local anaesthesia. More

  • Risks of Anaesthesia

    Common unwanted side effects

    Nausea and/or vomiting - this is a common side effect which may be due to the surgical process or anaesthesia.… More

Contact Details

Auckland City Hospital

Central Auckland

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Greenlane Clinical Centre

Central Auckland

More details…

This page was last updated at 10:50AM on October 22, 2019. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB Anaesthesia.