Types of Anesthesia

"Our main objective is to offer the best care to the patient, both in the area of critical care and in the fight against different types of pain".


The purpose of anesthesia is to ensure that an operation or medical examination, usually painful, can be performed on the patient with maximum safety and in the best conditions of comfort and welfare.

The anesthesiologist will advise you on the possibilities and on the technique that best suits your conditions.

Sometimes, you can choose between several options (for example, an inguinal hernia can be operated under local, spinal or general anesthesia).

On other occasions, only general anesthesia is possible. Often several techniques are associated, especially for postoperative pain control (e.g., general and epidural anesthesia in thoracic surgery).

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When is anesthesia indicated?

Before applying any type of anesthesia, don't forget to tell your doctor about all the illnesses and operations you have had, if you are allergic to any medicine, food or material, if you take your usual medication (write down the names and doses), if you smoke or drink, if you (or a family member) have had problems with anesthesia in the past, and if you currently have any infections or colds.

Remember to fast (approximately 8 hours for solids and 4 hours for liquids).

When is the anesthesia applied?

  • Anesthesia in the operating room.
  • Anesthesia outside the operating room.
  • Locoregional anesthesia.

Are you going to have a procedure done?

It may be necessary to anesthetize you

Learn more about anesthesia

Local anesthesia can be topical anesthesia, which is achieved by putting drops of anesthetic (for example, in Ophthalmology) or ointments on the skin (for example, to be able to prick young children), local anesthesia by infiltration in the area where the operation is performed (for example, to remove a wart), trunk anesthesia, by anesthetizing the nerves that are responsible for maintaining the sensitivity of a certain area of the body (for example, in hand surgery) or spinal anesthesia, in its 2 variants, the intradural and the epidural, which allows for the anesthesia of larger areas of the body (generally from the waist down, for example, for knee or foot surgery). To all types of local anesthesia can be associated a more or less intense sedation, so that the patient is more calm, relaxed and sometimes even asleep during the operation.

The other type of anesthesia is general. It consists of putting the patient to sleep, keeping him/her unconscious during the operation, giving him/her analgesics to calm the pain produced by the surgery and keeping all his/her vital organs in perfect functioning during the operation.

Anesthesia is one of the branches of medicine that has advanced the most in recent years. Currently, anesthesia is very safe. That does not mean it is easy to perform.

In approximately 1 out of every 100 patients there are problems that would have had serious adverse consequences if it had not been for the presence of a physician specializing in Anesthesiology. This gives an approximate idea of the difficulty involved in anesthesia and the safety provided by an anesthesiologist in charge of ensuring your well-being. In spite of the great security of the current anesthesia, it is not necessary to think that it does not have risks either.

Although mortality attributable exclusively to anesthesia (excluding that due to surgery) is very low, at 1 death for every 10,000 anesthesias, there is a risk of neurological, cardiac, respiratory or other organ injuries, whether temporary or permanent.

The anesthetic risk is increased by other factors, such as the type of surgery, your age, the presence of associated diseases (diabetes, hypertension...), obesity, bad habits (tobacco, alcohol...), medications you take or complications that may arise unexpectedly during the operation.

Remember, that if you wish, you can consult your anesthesiologist for all those questions or clarifications you need. He or she is the person best qualified to resolve your doubts and will do so taking into consideration your personal circumstances.

Where do we do it?


Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Clinic's Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department is made up of a team of professionals specialized in the administration of anesthesia in surgical procedures and also outside the operating room, in the care of critical patients and in the treatment of pain. Our goal is to provide the best patient care.

We have a Pain Unit, formed by specialized doctors and nurses who will design personalized treatment guidelines for each patient, according to their symptoms and characteristics.

Organized in specialized sections

  • Intensive Care Area.
  • Pain Area.
  • Anesthesia in the operating room.
  • Anesthesia for tests and treatments outside the operating room.
  • Loco-regional anesthesia.
  • Via difficult area.
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Why at the Clinica?

  • Anesthesiologists trained in national and international reference centers.
  • Intensive Care Area equipped with the latest technology.
  • Specialized nursing to offer maximum quality care to our patients and family.

Our team of professionals