An anaesthetic is used to temporarily reduce or take away sensation, usually so that otherwise painful procedures or surgery can be performed.
There are two types of anaesthetics:
Anaesthesia-induced sleep is not the same as ordinary sleep but a form of temporary unconsciousness that is carefully controlled by the anaesthetist. This involves administering the right quantity of anaesthesia for each kind of operation. Throughout the procedure, different types of medicines are added or removed to relieve the pain and maintain the right level of unconsciousness.
For some operations, the best option is to combine a local anaesthetic such as spinal or epidural anaesthesia with medicines to make the patient sleepy. The anaesthetist can explain these details in advance.