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All operations require some form of anaesthetic and the majority of knee operations are carried out under a general anaesthetic.
The type and duration of anaesthetic used depends on the nature of the surgery being performed but will always be matched to your individual needs. Almost invariably I will add local anaesthetic around the operation site at the end of the procedure, before you wake up, to help to reduce pain in the hours following your operation.
I work with a number of specialist musculoskeletal anaesthetists who are familiar with the surgery I do and with whom I have worked to optimise the anaesthetic process. Their involvement continues beyond the operation itself to ensure a comfortable recovery.
Understandably some people feel more anxious about any potential anaesthetic than the surgery itself, but I am confident in the anaesthetists who work with me and the techniques we have developed together. Your anaesthetist will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have with you before the operation.
Dr Ed Morris is the anaesthetist who works with me most frequently and arranges anaesthetic cover for all operating lists and his profile is below.
Dr Ed Morris BSc (Hons), MBBS, FRCA
I qualified as a doctor in London in 1992 and trained in anaesthesia in Bristol, the South West, and the USA, becoming an NHS consultant in 2002. Since then I have worked closely with Jonathan Eldridge to develop anaesthetic techniques to make your hospital stay as pleasant (and short!) as possible. I look forward to meeting you before your operation to talk through the options available and answer any questions you might have. Patients often have different questions or even anxieties and I enjoy spending time explaining what will happen to you while you are under my care.
As well as my interest in anaesthesia for orthopaedic surgery (I work with Jonathan in his NHS practice too) I specialise in anaesthesia for head and neck surgery, fertility treatments, and urology at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. I am an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Bristol and am involved in choosing tomorrow’s doctors as an admissions tutor there. Away from work I enjoy spending time with my young family and running (I completed the London Marathon in 2007).
Occasionally Jonathan’s patients are anaesthetised by colleagues of mine with similar training and experience – we look forward to meeting you and being part of the team who look after you.
FAQs about Anaesthesia
The guide for patients provided by the Royal College of Anaesthetists at http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/patientinfo will answer many of your general questions about anaesthesia. The FAQs below reflect the sorts of specific questions that our patients often have.
Our aim is to get you through your operation and back onto your feet as quickly as possible. In most cases, this is best achieved by light general anaesthesia with appropriate pain relief and local anaesthetic added by Jonathan Eldridge while you are still asleep. Your anaesthetist will be happy to discuss what sort of anaesthetic is best for you when you meet before surgery.
There are some operations where recovery is actually quickened by numbing one part of the body for a short period around the time of surgery. We have found this to be the case, for example, in total joint replacement and in trochleoplasty (an operation performed to treat some types of knee dislocation). Again, we will be happy to talk to you about the risks and benefits of any technique which you may be offered – your anaesthetic will be tailored to your individual needs.
Our aim is for you to wake up with little or no pain after your operation and to remain as comfortable as possible afterwards. Some knee operations are potentially more painful than others, however. A specialist recovery nurse will look after you immediately after your operation to ensure that you are comfortable before you go back to the ward, and the anaesthetist will visit you after your operation. We will make sure that a range of painkilling medicines are available for you to take should you need them during your recovery, and will give you tablets to take home with clear instructions on how to use them.
Postoperative sickness depends on several factors – the age and sex of the patient, the type of surgery performed, and the anaesthetic drugs used. Most of our patients do not feel sick after their operation, and part of the preoperative discussion will be to assess the risk of you feeling sick and to adjust the type of anaesthetic accordingly, for example by using specific techniques or medicines.
All anaesthetists will tell you the same – please follow the instructions you are given about eating and drinking before surgery very carefully, and if you smoke, please stop! These are the two things which will help to make your anaesthetic as safe and pleasant as possible, to get you through your operation and beyond as quickly and successfully as we can.
Contact Becky Gordon on
08452 606162 or