As an anaesthetist, my job is to erase your consciousness, eliminate pain and immobilise your body. I alter your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.
I have administered anaesthesia more than 30,000 times during my 30-year career, treating all ages from newborns to centenarians — and, once, a desperately ill gorilla. The patients I care for place their faith in me, but we’ve usually been introduced only a few minutes before and they rarely remember my name after surgery.
So, here’s what you missed while you were sleeping . . .