Dr. Ertan Beyatlı

General Anesthesia Side Effects

(Update: ) - general subjects

When is general anesthesia used and is it safe?

General anesthesia is very safe. Patients can tolerate general anesthesia without serious problems, even with significant health problems. However, there may be some side effects against any medication or medical procedure. Here are the expectations ..

Short-term side effects

Most of the side effects of general anesthesia occur immediately after your surgery and do not last long. Once the surgery is over and the anesthetic medications are stopped, you will slowly wake up in the operating room or recovery room. You will probably feel awkward and a little emotionally confused.

You may also feel any of these common side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting. This common side effect usually occurs soon after the procedure, but some people may continue to feel sick for a day or two. Anti-nausea medications can help.
  • Dry mouth. You may feel scorched when you wake up. As long as there is not much nausea, sipping water can help with dry mouth.
  • Sore throat or hoarseness. A tube placed in your throat to help you breathe during surgery (intubation tube) may cause a sore throat after removal.
  • Shivering and tremors. It is common for your body temperature to drop during general anesthesia. Your doctors and nurses will make sure your temperature does not drop too much during the surgery, but you may wake up feeling shaky and cold. Your tremors can last from a few minutes to hours.
  • Confusion and blurred thinking. When you first wake up from anesthesia, you may feel confused, sleepy, and foggy. This usually only takes a few hours, but for some people - especially older adults - the mess can take days or weeks.
  • Muscle pains. Medicines used to relax your muscles during surgery (antispasmodic) muscle soreness later on (Myalgia) why could it be.
  • Itching. Itching may occur if narcotic (opioid) drugs are used during or after the operation. This is a common side effect of this class of drugs.
  • Bladder problems. You may have difficulty urinating for a short time after general anesthesia. (urinary retention). This situation is due to the immobility of the bladder muscles. Temporary urinary catheter for prolonged urinary problems (foley catheter) It can be installed.
  • Dizziness. You may feel dizzy when you first stand up. Therefore, it is appropriate to sit in bed for a while first. Drinking plenty of fluids will help you feel better.

Long term side effects

Most people do not experience long-term side effects. However, older patients are more likely to experience side effects that last for more than a few days.

This can include:

  • Post-operative delirium. Some people may feel confused, confused, or have trouble remembering things after surgery. This disorientation can come and go, but usually goes away after about a week.
  • Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (Postoperative cognitive dysfunction POCD). Some people may experience ongoing memory problems or other cognitive impairments after surgery. However, this is unlikely to be the result of anesthesia. It seems to be the result of the surgery itself.

Some research shows that people over the age of 60 may be more likely to develop POCD. Also, you may be more likely to develop a POCD if:

  • had a stroke
  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease

Risk factors

For the most part, general anesthesia is very safe. It is the surgical procedure itself that puts you at risk. However, the elderly and those with long procedures are most at risk of side effects and bad results.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions, as these can affect how well you will be during and after surgery:

  • adverse reactions to anesthesia (adverse reaction) story of
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sara, epileptic seizures
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure HT
  • diabetes DM
  • heart disease CV
  • lung disease COPD
  • kidney disease ARF CRF
  • drug allergies
  • Also: Smoking, alcohol and use blood thinners (anticoagulant) and thinning drugs such as: Aspirin, coraspin, ecopirin, Clopidogrel (Plavix), Dipyridamol (Persantine), Ticlopidine (Ticlid)

Is it possible to wake up during the operation?

Waking Up During Surgery - General Anesthesia

Very rarely, people may be aware of what is happening during the surgery. Some experts estimate that 1000 out of every 1 people regain consciousness, but does not activate doctors because they cannot speak or move. Other sources report that it is less rare than 15.000 out of 1 or 23.000 out of 1.

When this happens, the person usually does not feel any pain. However, operative awareness can be very upsetting and cause long-term psychological problems similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you experience operative awareness under general anesthesia, you may find it helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor about your experience.

Why is general anesthesia more preferred?

If you need surgery, you probably don't want to feel what is happening. Patients have a famous phrase:

Sir, I don't want to see or hear anything. You knock me unconscious teacher ..

Depending on the type of surgery, this can be done in a variety of ways.

Your doctor will likely recommend general anesthesia if the following factors are involved with the surgery:

  • If it will take a long time
  • If it will cause blood loss
  • If it will affect your breathing

General anesthesia is essentially a type of fainting (a medically induced coma). Your doctor will administer medication to make you unconscious so you won't move or feel during surgery.

Other procedures can be done with:

  • local anesthesia, when your hand is stitched
  • sedation, endoscopy or colonoscopy when you get it done
  • regional anesthesia, like an epidural anesthesia at birth

Do not worry. While planning your procedure, your doctor will guide you in your individual options. It will answer your questions about what to use and why.


It is important that you speak openly with your doctors about all your health information. Your anesthesiologist can safely manage your care and treat your side effects.

Be sure to talk to your surgeon and anesthesiologist about your concerns and expectations before the procedure. You should also talk about:

  • previous anesthesia experience
  • health conditions
  • drug, smoking, alcohol, or drug use

Make sure you follow all your written instructions, including what you can, cannot eat, and medications you should or should not take. Following these instructions can help minimize some of the side effects of general anesthesia. (Beneficiary resource: healthline)

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