Not all operations require a general anaesthetic and it is often safest to perform surgery under local anaesthetic when possible. Local anaesthetic agents allow an area to be numbed so that no pain but only movement is experienced. Most of these types of anaesthetic wear off after an hour or two so that a simple pain killer, such as paracetamol, can be taken to minimise any post operative pain while sensation returns to normal.
Occasionally sedation is given with local anaesthetic to assist the process when required.
Where needed a general anaesthetic is used and a consultant anaesthetist will see you. To ensure safety is prioritised you may need to have some pre-operative assessment tests before your operation. However if you are fit and well most procedures allow for admission on the day of surgery for a pre-operative anaesthetic review before your operation.