You may be able discuss choices of anaesthesia and post-op pain relief with your anaesthetist.
The anaesthetist is responsible for pre-medication before the surgery, your anaesthesia and wellbeing during surgery, any blood transfusions you may need and your post-operative pain relief.
Ask your surgeon if you can meet your anaesthetist before the day of the procedure so you won’t be hurried or stressed and can be involved in the planning.
For colorectal surgery, general anaesthetic is normally used.
With general anaesthetic you’ll be unconscious for your procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. You may wake up with a sore throat from the tube. General anaesthetics often cause post-operative nausea and vomiting. It may be combined with a local anaesthetic to provide pain relief after surgery.
If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with anaesthesia.
The anaesthetist may offer you medication before your surgery. This could be to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax. If you think you’ll be feeling anxious before surgery, ask if you can have something to relax you.
Pain relief after surgery
After surgery you’ll be given pain relief prescribed by your anaesthetist. By enabling you to move and breathe without too much discomfort, good pain relief can help reduce your risk of complications.
Patient controlled analgesia is often used in the first day or so. This is an opiate drug delivered through a cannula into a vein. You can control the amount of pain relief you receive by pressing a button.
Injections of pain relieving medication can be delivered by cannula or into a muscle.
Pills, tablets or liquids can be given at regular times, or when pain starts to bother you.
Print this page to take when you meet with your surgeon and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.