What is the difference between local and general anaesthetics?

‘Anaesthesia and pain management is as important as the skill of foot surgery’

The choice between staying awake and remaining at a level of consciousness is available to our patients. The main difference between a local anaesthetic, often called a regional block is the ability to remain at a conscious level. A general anaesthetic is where a patient would have no conscious state at all and so is asleep.

At Spire Little Aston I work closely with anaesthetists to ensure the best method is used your surgery. All our local anaesthetic patients can have some sedative relaxation. This is sometimes known as ‘twighlight anaesthesia’. The main benefit is lack of awareness of needles for phobic patients whilst being ‘numbed’.

Patients can ask about their preferred method and discuss this with my anaesthetist to help make the best choice.

Modern anaesthetics are refined these days so that fewer unwanted reactions arise such as sickness. Most patients can return home safely after their foot surgery on the same day without the need to stay in hospital.

More information about anaesthesia can be gained by using the Royal College of Anaesthetists’ website patient and relatives section. www.rcoa.ac.uk