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Anaesthesia Services

The Anaesthesia Services at Mercy Hospital Dunedin Limited are provided by independent specialist anaesthetists.

These specialists provide rostered 24 hour, 7 day a week cover for surgery and pre- and post-operative care. They provide a pre-operative consultation, usually the evening before surgery. This is your opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

With a recognised record of safety, the anaesthetists have the latest medical equipment and technology and ensure full compliance with all specified guidelines for all types of surgery.

NZSA Web Site:

The following information is designed to help you or your child to prepare for the anaesthetic which you will need for your surgery.

Anaesthesia has developed a great deal in recent years and you may find some of your ideas based on former experiences, or on what you have been told, are just not true any more.

What is an Anaesthetist?

An anaesthetist is firstly a registered medical doctor, who has passed through the same training (for six years) as all doctors in this country. Secondly, an anaesthestist is a specialist in anaesthesia, having undergone training and examinations over a period of at least a further seven years after leaving Medical School. Thirdly, your anaesthetist is vitally concerned for you welfare during the whole of your hospital stay, but particularly during your operation and will be present in the operating theatre for the whole period. Your surgeon will inform you of the name of your anaesthetist.

What do Anaesthetists do?

Anaesthetists administer anaesthesia, but in addition the anaesthetist is trained to make a detailed assessment of each patient prior to surgery, and to decide what will be the optimum management. This means that your anaesthetist will talk with you, and examine you, and discuss a number of options with you.

What is Anaesthesia?

There are several different types of anaesthesia, and you may have heard of them. The three main types are: 

  • General Anaesthesia: which means you go to "sleep" and wake up when the operation is finished.
  • Local Anaesthesia: where only a small part of the body is rendered numb.
  • Regional Anaesthesia: where an area or region of the body is anaesthetised with a local anaesthetic, such as a spinal or epidural block for the lower half of the body, or an arm block for an upper extremity.