General anesthesia is normally administered for surgical procedures by an injection through the back hand in the vein. Depending upon the type of surgery you are undergoing, an intravenous drip may be inserted while under the anesthesia. In some cases while asleep, a tube may be used and inserted through your mouth to the windpipe, ensuring enough oxygen is being provided to protect your lungs.
Common Side Effects
• Nausea and Vomiting – This is a common side effect and anti-vomiting drugs can be prescribed. It may last for a few hours to a few days.
• Sore Throat – If you had a tube inserted into your airway, you may suffer from a sore throat afterwards. The discomfort and pain can last from a few hours to few days and treated with pain relievers.
• Dizziness and Feeling Faint – This may occur if your blood pressure or suffering from dehydration. Fluids and medications can treat this.
• Headaches – A common side effect that occurs within a few hours and treated with pain relievers.
• Itching – This is a side effect of opiates such as morphine but can be caused by an allergy and treated with medication.
• Pain – Pain may be felt at the site of injection.
• Chest Infection – This is a common occurrence in people who smoke and may lead to breathing difficulties.
• Bladder Problems - If you received a spinal or epidural, difficulty with passing urine may occur afterwards due to the insertion of a catheter.
• Breathing Difficulties – Caused by pain relieving drugs that can slow breathing or drowsiness after surgery.
Serious and Rare Complications
• Damage to the eyes – Caused by adhesive tape that may be used to keep the eyelids closed, however have sterilizing fluids leak past the tapes rubbing against the eyes and damaging the surface.
• Serious allergy to drugs – Very rarely allergy reactions may occur that can lead to death even with health people.
• Nerve damage – Caused by the needle and pressure on the nerve during operations. Damage often times is temporary but may be permanent.
• Death – This is a very rare occurrence and often occurs in only 5 of every 1 million patients administered with general anesthetics.