One of the most common fears for a patient undergoing major surgery is the anaesthetic. Often the patient is more concerned about this than the other risks of the operation.
All of the procedures and operations Pete performs are undertaken under a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic or a combination of both.
Modern surgical techniques aim to minimise the post operative pain and swelling to allow rapid mobilisation following surgery and a shorter inpatient stay in the hospital.
Pete has been trained in the use of enhanced techniques to improve your post operative recovery, using pre operative analgesia, intra operative local anaesthetic injections, combination post operative analgesia, modern bandage and dressings and not using post operative drains.
These techniques allow many patients to mobilise on the day of surgery, and all patients are up and moving by the first post operative day. Some patients are able to go home on the same day as their operation thanks to these enhanced measures and the average length of stay for joint replacement patients is only 3.75 days
The specialist Consultant anaesthetist will discuss your anaesthetic with you prior to surgery. Often they will take into account your desires for a certain type of anaesthetic but occasionally there are medical reasons why one type is preferred over another.
General anaesthetic involves a full anaesthetic where you are asleep and have a tube placed into your throat to provide oxygen to your body and to maintain the anaesthetic using gases. It usually involves a small plastic needle in the back of your hand and an injection of anaesthetic through this.
You are sometimes drowsy for a short while after a general anaesthetic and occasionally feel nauseous, modern general anaesthetics include anti sickness medication to prevent this nausea.
Spinal anaesthetic involves an injection into your back, often confused with an epidural a spinal is a single injection and does not require a plastic tube to be left in your spine (this is necessary for an epidural). Spinal anaesthesia makes your legs go numb so you cannot feel or move them. It normally lasts for a short time only (1 to 4) hours. A spinal provides excellent pain relief during and immediately after your surgery as the pain messages from your knee are blocked from getting to your brain, this is why the anaesthetist will often combine a general anaesthetic with a spinal anaesthetic for maximum initial post operative comfort.