The definition of general anaesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness. An anaesthetist will administer various medicines including an anaesthetic to put a patient to sleep so that surgery can be performed without feeling of pain or discomfort, or having any memory of the surgery.
There are various anaesthesia types, such as local anaesthesia, where only a part of the body is numbed and the patient is still awake, and general anaesthesia, administered either by inhaling the medicine through a mask, or by an injection.
Once surgery is completed, the anaesthetist will discontinue the administration of general anaesthesia drugs and wake the patient. The patient should have no memory of the procedure and should be pain-free as a result of pain medication administered prior to wake-up. Once the anaesthetist is satisfied that the patient’s condition is stable, the patient is returned to the ward.