Your anaestheticoptions

You can ask to meet your anaesthetist before your procedure

If you’re having spinal or general anaesthetic, ask your surgeon if you can meet your anaesthetist before the day of your surgery. This way you won’t be hurried or stressed, and can be involved in the planning.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for your anaesthesia and wellbeing during the procedure and your pain relief afterwards.

For varicose vein stripping surgery, spinal anaesthetic with IV sedation or general anaesthetic may be used.

Spinal anaesthetic

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 you can also have sedation.


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 procedure.

General anaesthetic

With general anaesthetic you’ll be unconscious for your procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with general anaesthesia.

Print this page to take when you meet with your surgeon and anaesthetist, so you can make sure all your questions are answered.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your procedure.


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.