Regional anaesthetic blocks involve placing local anaesthetic near to the nerves that supply the area of your operation. The local anaesthetic may also cause temporary weakness in the part of body that is numbed.
Your anaesthetist will discuss the options, risks and benefits with you during the anaesthetic visit prior to your operation.
They are most commonly given in addition to a general anaesthetic, but can be used alone (particularly with hand surgery) or with sedation.
Regional anaesthetics are generally very safe and reduce the need for strong, morphine-like pain killers which may be associated with side effects such as drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.
Just as for General Anaesthesia, your Consultant Anaesthetist remains with you throughout the operation monitoring your anaesthetic state throughout. After your procedure you will go to the recovery area until it is safe for you to return to your room.