You should be aware of the risks associated with general anesthesia before deciding to go under. Dr. Brian Blick, a board-certified anesthesiologist, outlines the seven most common risks in this informative blog post. Read on to learn more about the potential dangers of general anesthesia and what you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing any complications.
Risk #01: Allergic Reactions
Although rare, some people experience allergic reactions to the drugs used during general anesthesia. These reactions range from mild (rash, hives) to severe (anaphylaxis), says Dr Brian Blick. If you have any known allergies, tell your anesthesiologist before your surgery so they can take appropriate precautions.
Risk #02: Breathing Difficulties
One of the most common risks associated with general anesthesia is difficulty breathing. This is usually due to the muscles responsible for breathing becoming relaxed during surgery. In most cases, this is only a temporary problem and will resolve once the anesthesia wears off. However, in some rare instances, more serious respiratory problems can occur.
Risk #03: Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of general anesthesia. Usually, these symptoms will resolve within a few hours after surgery. However, some people may experience more severe nausea and vomiting that can last several days. If this occurs, be sure to contact your doctor so they can prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms.
Risk #04: Confusion
It’s not unusual for individuals who have undergone general anesthesia to be confused and disoriented when they wake up. The drugs used during surgery are typically to blame, and the condition generally goes away after a few hours. However, in rare instances, confusion can linger for days or weeks. If you have any questions regarding your operation, please contact your doctor immediately.
Risk #05: Dry Mouth
General anesthesia can cause dry mouth. This is generally due to the medications used during surgery, which usually go away after a few hours. Dryness of the mouth, on the other hand, can last for days or weeks in rare circumstances. If you have any difficulties swallowing after your operation, please contact your doctor right away.
Risk #06: Fatigue
Fatigue is a common side effect of general anesthesia. This is usually due to the drugs used during surgery and typically lasts for a few hours after the procedure. In some rare cases, however, fatigue can last for days or weeks. If you experience any fatigue after your surgery, be sure to contact your doctor.
Risk #07: Infection
Although rare, some people do experience infections after surgery. This is usually due to a bacteria or virus entering the body through an incision site. If you experience any signs of infection (redness, swelling, fever), contact your doctor immediately.
General anesthesia is generally safe, but there are certain risks that you should be aware of before undergoing any surgical procedure. These risks include allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, confusion, dry mouth, fatigue, and infection. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential risks before deciding to go under general anesthesia.