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Local anaesthetic is a drug that is injected into a specific area of your body causing loss of feeling.

What is Local Anaesthetic?

Local anaesthetic is a drug that is injected into a specific area of your body causing loss of feeling. The drug stops the nerves in the area from working so that you do not feel pain. You will not feel any pain during the procedure but you may feel pressure or movement. You will be awake for the procedure.

It is also possible to numb all the nerves to an arm or a leg. This is called a regional block.

It only takes a few minutes for the area to become numb. The consultant will make sure the area is fully numb before beginning any treatment.

It can take a few hours for local anaesthetic to wear off. You should be very careful not to damage the area immediately following your procedure. You may be given pain medication if there is a chance you will have pain when the anaesthetic has worn off.

Are there any complications?

Everyone reacts differently to medication. As with any medical procedure you could experience some side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Not enough pain relief
  • Allergic reaction
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Absorption into the bloodstream

If you are concerned about any aspects of local anaesthetic discuss them with your consultant.

Are there any alternatives to local anaesthetic?

There are several other types of anaesthetic. Your surgeon or anaesthetist will recommend a type of anaesthetic based on your medical situation and the procedure you are having. Click on the links below to read about these procedures:

Glasgow Hospital

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