U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 27-year-old member asked:

What are the major side effects of general anesthesia?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Mackinnon
Anesthesiology 34 years experience
Many side effects: The side effects are many but fortunately short lived. Probably the most significant is post operative nausea in the immediate period after surgery, this is treatable. Prolonged "grogginess", confusion in the elderly, sleepiness, sore throat(transient) are other side effects. It is important to know that these are typically absent on day two.
Dr. Kamel Ghandour
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Dr. Mackinnon is right. There can be many side effects. Remember that the side effects can be anticipated by your health history so be honest with your doctors so that they can minimize the side effects. Also remember that your doctors and nurses are trained to help you deal with and manage the side effects. Good luck.
Mar 3, 2012
Dr. Rita Agarwal
Anesthesiology 36 years experience
Nausea, tiredness: The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, lethargy and sore throat. Major side effects are extremely rare, but anesthesiologists monitor carefully for them. These: problems with your breathing, heart or a reaction to one of the medications. In patients with dental work, occasionally teeth can get chipped or gums injured.Sicker patients have higher risks.
Dr. Ernesto Pretto jr.
Anesthesiology 45 years experience
PONV: The most common side effects are post operative nausea and vomiting (ponv), sore throat, muscle aches and pains, and confusion disorientation and post operative cognitive decline, primarily among the elderly.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 31 years experience
Pain and Nausea: Most of the anesthetic agents disappear very quickly. That is why patients only remember the post anesthesia care unit issues.The main postoperative problems that patients experience are pain and nausea. Both of these are easily treatable by an alert pacu staff.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Similar questions

A 38-year-old member asked:

Could you tell me what are side effects of being put under general anesthesia?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julian Goldman
Anesthesiology 37 years experience
Varied: When we discuss possible side effects we may group them into "more likely", "less likely", and "rare" and personalize the information for the patient's health issues and procedure. Example list: nausea, vomiting, sore throat, tooth damage, inadequate post-op pain relief, allergies or other reaction to medication ranging from minor to severe, heart rhythm problems, urinary retention, etc.
A 34-year-old member asked:

What side effects does general anesthesia have on a 30 week fetus?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology 40 years experience
Short-lived: General anesthesia that a mother receives passes through her system into the baby's system. However, it goes away quickly too. If the baby were born right away, it might be sleepy or need help with breathing. But assuming that the baby is not born yet, the anesthesia meds will be gone within a few hours. At 30 weeks, all the baby's organs and limbs are formed, so there is no risk of birth defects.
A 29-year-old member asked:

What are the after effects of having general anesthesia?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Pain Management 24 years experience
Depends: It really depends on your age, medical history and time under anesthesia. Common issues are dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, nausea, headache, tired feeling - all kind of like a hangover. Sometimes in older people, especially if they have a history of some dementia, there may be postoperative delirium or worsening of dementia. It is best to speak with your anesthesiologist before surgery.
Last updated Oct 21, 2018
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.