Amnesia, confusion, disorientation and difficulty thinking clearly are normal side effects of general anesthesia, reports WebMD. Other minor effects, such as nausea, vomiting, sore throat or hoarseness, are common, but damage to the mouth or teeth caused by the breathing tube insertion during the procedure is less common.
Anesthesia specialists monitor delivery of the medication to the patient, states WebMD. Local or regional anesthesia causes fewer side effects because the medicine delivery is not throughout the whole body. General anesthesia is a combination of medications either delivered intravenously or inhaled. The medicine is then circulated throughout the body until the patient is unconscious prior to a medical or surgical procedure. Initial delivery of the medication is often by intravenous injection, but sustaining the delivery throughout the procedure is done through inhalation methods.
General anesthesia suppresses normal body functions, according to WebMD. Emptying the stomach by refraining from eating or drinking anything in the eight hours prior to the procedure prevents food from being inhaled into the lungs. The breathing tube also eliminates the possibility of stomach contents entering the lungs and delivers oxygen to balance out body functions. Side effects, such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, muscle damage and increased body temperature are rare, as are pneumonia, difficulty placing the breathing tube, adverse reaction to the anesthesia and death.