This page will give you information about a local anaesthetic. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is a local anaesthetic?
A local anaesthetic is a drug that is injected into the tissues to make them numb.
Local anaesthetics temporarily stop nerves working so that you do not feel pain. The simplest form of local anaesthesia is to inject the drug just around the area where the operation is going to take place. It is also possible to numb all the nerves to an arm or a leg (called a regional block).
Are there any alternatives to a local anaesthetic?
If you are concerned about being awake during the operation, it may be possible for it to be performed under a general anaesthetic.
What complications can happen?
- Not enough pain relief
- Allergic reaction
- Nerve damage
- Absorption into the bloodstream
A local anaesthetic can be used for most people, giving a safe and effective form of pain relief both during and after your operation.
Author: Dr Iain Moppett DM MRCP FRCA
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.