Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

What are the common side effects of anesthesia?
What are the common side effects of anesthesia?

By: Dr. Hulsey

Thank goodness for anesthesia! Can you imagine how painful many of the same routine surgeries and treatments would be without the gift of anesthesia? There are often very few side effects, if any at all, from local anesthesia. Some of the more common side effects of local anesthesia include:

  • Mild dizziness;

  • Minimal bruising;

  • Numbness in the treatment area that lasts longer than normal;

  • Nausea.

Before you undergo general anesthesia, it’s highly recommended that you discuss your previous experiences with any form of anesthesia with your doctor. You must disclose any prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements before surgery in the event that potential negative interactions may be at risk. All of these factors will help your anesthesiologist determine which general anesthesia may be best for your body.

Your anesthesiologist will most likely administer your general anesthesia intravenously through your arm. If needles and blood are of concern to you, please share your concerns with the doctor in advance. You may be able to receive anesthesia via a breathing mask that will help you get to sleep.

Once you’re under sedation, your anesthesiologist may use a mask or tube in your throat to help you breathe during surgery. Don’t worry- a member of the anesthesia care team will be constantly monitoring your vital signs, medication levels, body temperature, fluid levels, and blood pressure, among other essential factors, throughout the entire procedure. The team of medical staff surrounding you are some of the best in their profession and should walk you through any concerns or questions you may have before beginning.

Common side effects of general anesthesia

When you awake following your surgery, you may be experiencing a variety of symptoms from being sedated. General anesthesia tends to present more side effects than local, such as:

  • Sore throat;

  • Dry mouth;

  • Hoarseness;

  • Nausea;

  • Vomiting;

  • Chills;

  • Sleepiness.

The type of side effects can vary greatly depending on the type of surgery that required general anesthesia. Your doctor may be able to provide you with additional medication to help with pain management and nausea. Any persistent side effect should be monitored by your nursing staff as you continue to recover. Thankfully the side effects tend to subside in a matter of hours, if not minutes.

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