Your anaesthetic options

You should discuss anaesthesia and post-op pain relief with your anaesthetist.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for pre-medication before your surgery, your anaesthesia and wellbeing during surgery and your post-operative pain relief.
Ask your urologist if you can meet with your anaesthetist before the day of your procedure. This way you won’t be hurried or stressed, and can be involved in the planning.
Types of anaesthesia
Depending on the type of surgery, you may be offered either general, spinal or local anaesthesia. Spinal and local anaesthesia are often combined with sedation.
General anaesthetic
With general anaesthesia 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 may cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.
If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with general anaesthesia.
Spinal anaesthesia
This is an injection of local anaesthetic into your back. It makes you go numb so you feel no pain during your operation, but you stay conscious. If you’re worried about being conscious during your procedure you can also have sedation.

Local anaesthesia

This numbs the area around your bladder, urethra and prostate to reduce discomfort.


Sedation is often used in combination with a spinal or local anaesthetic. Light sedation will make you feel relaxed while deeper sedation will most likely make you go to sleep so you’re unlikely to remember much or anything that happens during the surgery.


Your 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

You may experience some discomfort or pain in the first few days 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.

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 urologist and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your surgery.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.