A hundred and seventy years ago many people would have chosen to die rather than undergo theordeal of surgery. Today, even major operations are routine. Anaesthesia has made them possible.
But how much do we really know about what happens when we go under? Can we hear what’s going on around us? Is pain still pain if we are not awake to feel it, or don’t remember it afterwards? How does the unconscious mind deal with the body’s experience of being cut open and ransacked? And what happens to those rare patients who wake up under the knife?
Haunting, lyrical, sometimes shattering, Anaesthesia leavens science with personal experience – and brings an intensely human curiosity to the unknowable realm beyond consciousness.