There are essentially 2 types of anaesthesia that are available, regional and general anaesthetic.  

Regional anaesthetic includes :

  • local anaesthetic injected into a region.  For example, anaesthetic injected into the skin to numb it so that a skin lesion can be cut off without you feeeling any pain. 
  • Epidural and spinal anaesthetia. 

Regional anaesthetic often allows you to be a awake or slightly sedated for the procedure.  Not all operations are suitable for regional anaesthetic.

General anaesthetic involves you going to sleep completely.  This requires the anaesthetist to support your breathing while you are asleep. The anaesthetist will insert an airway tube during this type of anaesthetic.  

The operation itself does not change whether general or regional anaesthetic is used, but regional anaesthetic is not always suitable depending on the type of operation.  Generally, regional anaesthetic is less demanding on your heart and lungs and is often considered if you have underlying health problems.  Your anaestheist will discuss this with you further.