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Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management

Who are we?

The Nepean Hospital Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management works across key areas of the Hospital including: operating theatres, day surgery, outpatient clinics, medical imaging, cardiac catheterisation lab, endoscopy suite, labour ward and acute pain service. When required, Anaesthetists are called in to Intensive Care Unit and Emergency department for help in difficult airway management.

Anaesthetists are doctors who have had specialist training in anaesthesia, pain management, the care of very ill patients (intensive care), and emergency care (resuscitation).

Patient in bed

How we care for you

  • Your anaesthetist is responsible for:
  • Your wellbeing and safety throughout your surgery
  • Agreeing on a plan with you for your anaesthetic
  • Giving you anaesthetic
  • Planning your pain control with you after the operation

You will be treated by a consultant anaesthetist or an anaesthetist in training (Registrar) who is a doctor completing further specialist training as an anaesthetist.

You can ask to speak to a consultant anaesthetist if you want to – there is always one available for help if needed.

We understand having surgery can be challenging and you may have many questions.

Please always talk to your anaesthetist, surgeon and treating clinical team about your concerns or if you have questions.

How to access our services

Your GP, surgeon or specialist will talk to you about accessing our services.

The word ‘anaesthesia’ means ‘loss of sensation’. If you have ever had a dental injection in your mouth or pain-killing drops put in your eyes, you already know important things about anaesthesia:

  • It stops you feeling pain and other sensations.
  • It can be given in various ways.
  • Not all anaesthesia makes you unconscious.
  • It can be directed to different parts of the body.

Drugs that cause anaesthesia work by blocking the signals that pass along your nerves to your brain. When the drugs wear off, you start to feel normal sensations again, including pain.

Local anaesthesia

A local anaesthetic numbs a small part of your body. It is used when the nerves can easily be reached by drops, sprays, ointments or injections. You stay conscious but free from pain. In some operations local anaesthesia can be combined with sedation or general anaesthesia, if appropriate.

Regional anaesthesia

Regional anaesthesia can be used for operations on larger or deeper parts of the body. Local anaesthetic drugs are injected near to the bundles of nerves which carry signals from that area of the body to the brain. The most common regional anaesthetics (also known as regional ‘blocks’) are spinal and epidural anaesthetics. These can be used for operations on the lower body such as caesarean sections, bladder operations or replacing a hip joint. You stay conscious but are free from pain. In some operations regional anaesthesia can be combined with sedation or general anaesthesia, if appropriate.

General anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness during which you feel nothing and may be described as ‘anaesthetised’. This is essential for some operations and may be used as an alternative to regional anaesthesia for others.

Anaesthetic drugs injected into a vein, or anaesthetic gases breathed into the lungs, are carried to the brain by the blood. They stop the brain recognising messages coming from the nerves in the body. Anaesthetic unconsciousness is different from unconsciousness due to disease or injury and is different from sleep. As the anaesthetic drugs wear off, your consciousness starts to return.




Friday, 16 October 2020 11:44:43 AM

Clinical Director
Dr Simon Collins

Deputy Clinical Director
Dr Manoj Mallikahewa

Contact us

Department of Anaesthesia &
Pain Management

Nepean Hospital
Derby Street
Kingswood NSW 2747
Ph: 02 4734 2356
Fax: 02 4734 3430

Switchboard: 02 4734 2000

In case of an emergency
Call Triple Zero (000) </font-1>