Anaesthesia is a loss of consciousness brought about by liquid or gas anaesthetic drugs.
Many operations require our patients to be asleep and still, and we use anaesthetics to achieve this and ensure patients are unaware surgery is taking place.
The anaesthetics department provides a comprehensive range of general and specialist anaesthetic services, ensuring each patient receives the safest and most effective care at and around the time of their operation.
We frequently care for patients undergoing major and high-risk surgery, performing complex cases that would be unsuitable for other hospitals.
The team are also responsible for providing pain relief before, during and after surgical procedures, and are closely involved in all aspects of resuscitation of very ill and severely injured patients.
Our anaesthetics department works across 35 operating theatres at Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, as well as endoscopy suites, interventional radiology laboratories and post-anaesthetic care units.
The team supports a wide range of medical and surgical subspecialties, including colorectal surgery, urology, gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, endoscopy, paediatrics, trauma and orthopaedics, and breast surgery.
Our anaesthetists also provide support for operating theatres at Edgware Community Hospital and some procedures at Hadley Wood Hospital.
The team work closely with the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland to ensure we are at the cutting edge of patient safety and perioperative medicine.
Our anaesthetics department also has a strong research base, with many ongoing clinical trials.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists has information patients may find useful: