After My Anaesthetic

How Will I Feel After My Anaesthetic ?

How you feel will depend on the type of anaesthetic and operation you have had, how much pain relieving medicine you need and your general health.

Pain Relief After Your Anaesthetic 

Good pain relief is important and some people need more pain relief than others. It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad. Pain relief can be increased, given more often, or given in different combinations.

Occasionally, pain is a warning sign that all is not well, so you should ask for help when you feel pain.

Here are some ways of giving pain relief:

Tablets or Liquids to Swallow

These are used for all types of pain. They take at least half an hour to work. You need to be able to eat, drink and not feel sick for these drugs to work.


These are often needed, and may be intra-venous (through your cannula into a vein for a quicker effect) or intra-muscular (into your leg or buttock muscle using a needle, taking about 20 minutes to work).


These waxy pellets are put in your back passage (rectum). The pellet dissolves and the drug passes into the body. They are useful if you cannot swallow or if you might vomit.

Patient-controlled Analgesia (PCA)

This is a method using a machine that allows you to control your pain relief yourself. If you would like more information on PCA ask to speak to the anaesthetist responsible for your care.

Local Anaesthetics and Regional Blocks

These types of anaesthesia can be very useful for relieving pain after surgery. More details can be found in the leaflet ‘Epidurals for pain relief after surgery’.

Questions You May Like To Ask Your Anaesthetist

  • Who will give my anaesthetic?
  • Do I have to have a general anaesthetic?
  • What type of anaesthetic do you recommend?
  • Have you often used this type of anaesthetic?
  • What are the risks of this type of anaesthetic?
  • Do I have any special risks?
  • How will I feel afterwards?