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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 the main difference for a local anaesthetic, often called a regional block in the foot. A general anaesthetic is where a patient would have no conscious state at all.

At Spire Little Aston I work closely with anaesthetists to ensure the best method is used for foot 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 much more refined these days so that fewer unwanted reactions arise. Most patients can return home safely after their foot surgery on the same day.

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