Pain management

At Guy’s and St Thomas’ we anaesthetise over 50,000 patients a year across both hospitals, including the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Our anaesthetic department has a special interest in teaching and training, regional anaesthesia, patient optimisation, intra-operative echocardiography, enhanced recovery and difficult airway skills.


Our consultant obstetric anaesthetists specialise in pain relief during labour and are on hand to ensure that your birth is as comfortable as possible. They are responsible for your well-being and safety throughout your surgery and will work closely with your consultant to plan your type of anaesthetic and pain control with you.

Your consultant will make arrangements to book the most appropriate anaesthetist based on your type of surgery. There may be exceptions such as our private maternity service where patients may choose their own anaesthetist.

Our anaesthetists are available to discuss options for pain relief including epidurals. They also provide anaesthesia for caesarean sections, which are usually performed using spinal or epidural anaesthesia. This service is not included in the hospital fee and will be billed separately by the anaesthetist.

What is an anaesthetic?

Anaesthesia stops you feeling pain during an operation. There are different types of anaesthetic:

  • a local anaesthetic uses an injection to numb a part of your body. You stay awake but don’t feel pain
  • a regional anaesthetic uses an injection of anaesthetic to numb a larger part of your body (such as an arm or a leg). You stay awake but don’t feel pain
  • a general anaesthetic gives a state of controlled unconsciousness during which you feel nothing. This is essential for many operations and you will be asleep for the entire procedure.


Dedicated private maternity care and support for you and your baby carried out by world-famous specialists.

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