Your anaestheticOptions

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 surgeon 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

For graft and flap surgery, local anaesthetic, IV sedation (twilight) or general anaesthetic may be used.

Local anaesthetic

Local anaesthetic usually involves injecting the area around the graft and donor sites with a numbing agent. The surgeon will then wait until your skin is properly numb before beginning the surgery. With a local anaesthetic, you may be able to go home shortly after the surgery.

IV Sedation (Twilight)

Twilight anaesthesia is an anaesthetic technique where a mild dose of general anaesthesia is applied to induce anxiolysis (anxiety relief), hypnosis, and anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories). The patient is not unconscious, but sedated.

General anaesthetic

With a 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 may cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.

If you’re overweight, obese or have diabetes, there are increased risks associated with general anaesthesia.


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

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.        

Injections, 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.

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.