Anaesthesia means "loss of sensation". Anaesthetics are medicines used during surgical operations to numb certain areas of the body or send you to sleep. This prevents pain and discomfort. They are also used for some types of tests and diagnostic procedures. They are administered by an anaesthetist, a doctor who has received specialist training in anaesthesia.

Our Anaesthetics Department works across many different specialities including general surgery, gastroenterology, maternity, orthopaedics and more. We have a dedicated team based in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford), and at the North Devon District Hospital, but you may also see an anaesthetist if your particular type of surgery is taking place in one of our community hospitals.

Last updated: February 26, 2023


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