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General Anesthesia
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

General Anesthesia Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

Possible Complications

Every precaution is used to prevent complications. Often, medicines are given in advance to prevent certain problems, such as nausea and vomiting. Even so, complications may occur and include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reaction to anesthetic used
  • Nerve damage or skin breakdown from positioning on the operating table
  • Sore throat or damage to throat, teeth, or vocal cords
  • While rare, there is a small risk of the following complications, especially among the elderly or those with medical problems:
  • Lung infections
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Anesthesia awareness—a rare complication where the patient becomes aware during the surgery

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Medical conditions—heart, respiratory, kidney conditions, and diabetes
  • Certain medicines—especially those that increase bleeding (eg, aspirin )
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use —may alter the way the liver handles anesthesia
  • Time of last food intake—a full stomach may cause food to enter the lungs
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia in the past or family history of adverse reactions
  • Food or drug allergies

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which last for more than two days after leaving the hospital
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Dizziness, faintness

In case of an emergency, CALL 911.



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