Central Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) >

Auckland DHB Anaesthesia

Public Service, Anaesthesia

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.

Medications are given to you through your veins using the intravenous cannula that will have been placed, and maybe through your lungs, using a breathing tube that we place after you have become unconscious.  This breathing tube also ensures you do not snore while you are unconscious. 

Anaesthetising a patient can take anywhere from 10 minutes upwards.  We make sure the patient is safe and fully anaesthetised before we allow surgery. The surgery then takes as long as necessary.  There are a lot of changes in the body while it is undergoing surgery; managing these changes and ensuring your safety is the anaesthetist's sole responsibility while the surgeon concentrates on doing the best surgery possible.

When the surgery is finished, the anaesthetic process is reversed while the patient is still in the operating room. After the patient has stabilised they are then transferred to the Recovery Room (PACU) and further monitored to ensure that they remain stable.  Patients will usually spend an hour in the PACU area prior to being returned to the ward. 

Modern anaesthesia is extremely safe.  We now have medication that is very well tolerated and short-acting. This  allows patients to have a minimal "hangover" effect from the anaesthetic drugs themselves, and enables the body to concentrate on recovering from the surgical process.

Some common unwanted effects can occur after surgery and these may be due to our anaesthetic medications, the surgical process, your position while having the surgery, the reason for you needing the surgery or a combination of all of these things.

This page was last updated at 9:54AM on November 24, 2021.