What Are Potential Side Effects After Undergoing Anesthesia?


Quick Answer

The potential side effects of anesthesia include nausea and vomiting, hypothermia, and impaired judgment or coordination, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Some patients may feel weak and tired for a few days, while others may experience blurred vision and dizzy thinking.

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What Are Potential Side Effects After Undergoing Anesthesia?
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Full Answer

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects for patients who undergo lengthy procedures with general anesthesia, explains John Hopkins Medicine. The nausea is typically temporary and treatable with anti-emetic medications. Individuals who experience a lowered body temperature, also known as hypothermia, experience shivers and a general cold feeling when waking up from general anesthesia. In rare cases, general anesthetics impact the central nervous system and cause confusion and drowsiness. Patients should refrain from driving, operating machinery or performing potentially dangerous activities for at least 24 hours after anesthesia.

Anesthesia is generally a safe procedure, but with any type of medical intervention, risks do exist, explains John Hopkins Medicine. Several types of anesthesia are available for patients, including general, sedation, regional and local. Local anesthesia involves numbing the surgical area only, whereas regional anesthesia involves administering anesthesia to a portion of the body. Regional anesthesia is used for extremity surgery to block pain and allow the patient to stay awake, and general anesthesia is administered through IV medications that cause temporary unconsciousness. Sedation anesthesia includes sedatives and pain relievers that minimize discomfort and pain during a medical procedure.

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