The anaesthetic

We provide a range of anaesthetic options including general anaesthesia, spinal or epidural anaesthesia and local anaesthetic nerve blocks. This allows us to custom make your anaesthetic to provide the best quality of stay in hospital. For information on specific procedures please visit:

This site provides a series of clear and helpful patient information guides produced by The Royal College of Anesthetists and The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Of particular relevance are: Anaesthetic choices for hip and knee surgery and Your spinal anaesthetic.

Frequently asked questions

Q Will I see the anaesthetist before the operation?

A Yes. Your anaesthetist will visit you beforehand and discuss the plan for your anaesthetic and pain relief. If there are special problems we can arrange for an anaesthetic review in outpatients clinic.

Q How long should I starve before surgery?

A Before your operation you should not eat for 6 hours. This includes milk, milk containing drinks such as white tea or coffee and fresh fruit drinks. You can drink water until 2 hours before your operation. We will give you estimated times to stop eating and drinking before your admission.

Q Should I take my normal medicines?

A In general you should take your medicine as normal. For specific medicines such as insulin or ACE inhibitors we will give you advice in advance.

Q Will I feel pain after my operation?

A We will use a variety of techniques to reduce your pain after the operation. This will include the use of local anaesthetic during the operation and regular tablet pain killers afterwards. We may use strong painkillers such as morphine. If we do, this is often given via a pump that you control, called a PCA. Alternatively, your anaesthetist may recommend a spinal or epidural anaesthetic that may also be used to help with your pain relief after the operation.

Q What should I do if I have a cough or cold?

A If you are feeling unwell please contact us before coming to hospital.
It is possible that it would be safer to reschedule your operation.

To make an enquiry or book an appointment with one of the SOC team please contact:
020 8901 5505

GP referrals can be made to individually named surgeons within SOC, or to the group, where the referral will be allocated to the appropriate specialist.