Types of anaesthesia

One of the aims of anaesthesia id to avoid pain both during surgery and in the postoperative period, as well as in other therapeutic procedures. The anaesthesiologist will be in charge of the drug administration to achieve this goal.

Depending on your health status, type of surgery and treatment preferences, one of these four types of anaesthesia will be applied.

Local anaesthesia

The local anaesthesia consists on the loss of sensation in a small part of the body. We proceed to the administration of a local anaesthetic injection in the area to be treated.

Anaesthetic drops can also be administered in some ophtalmological procedures, such as cataract surgery.

Regional anaesthesia

Regional anaesthesia consists on the loss of sensitivity in a part of the body. The local anaesthetic is administered in the vicinity of the nerve or group of nerves that innervate the area to be treated.

Neuraxial or spinal block

Application of the local anaesthetic near the outlet of the nerves at the level of the spinal cord. It is used in surgeries of the lower extremities, sush as hernias, low urological surgeries or caesarean sections.

There are different modalities:

  • Anestesia intradural
  • Anestesia epidural, como la que se realiza en la analgesia durante el parto.
  • Anestesia caudal, muy utilizada como analgesia en fimosis o hernias.

Blockage of peripheral nerves

The local anaesthetic is administered near the nerve or group of nerves that innervate the area to operate. It is done by special guided needles under ultrasound vision.

General anaesthesia

Temporary state of unconsciousness, similar to a deep sleep, in which the patient does not feel pain. It is achieved by administering a series of drugs, differnt from local anaesthetics, intravenously or by inhalation of anesthetic gases.

Beginning of anaesthesia, using intravenous (propofol) or inhaled drugs in the case of children.

The maintenance of anaesthesia can be done intravenously or with inhaled gases through a mask or tube in the trachea.

Once the surgery is finished, the administration of the anaesthetics is interrupted and the patient’s awakening begins.

Both during general anaesthesia and during locoregional anaesthesia, the anaesthetist monitors the vital signs at all times and adapts the anaesthesia to the different situations that may occur during the course of the surgery.


Sedation helps to facilitate tolerance to certain procedures performed with local or regional anaesthesia and in diagnostic procedures. It can be helpful specially in nervous or apprehensive patients.

This can vary from a mild sedation, in which the patient responds to orders and can follow the doctor’s instructions, to a hypnosis with spontaneous beathing, assisted with supplemental oxygen depending on the procedure.