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A 24-year-old member asked:

How long does it take to recover from a general anesthetic for hand surgery?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aileen Shieu
Hand Surgery 21 years experience
Depends: The recovery from anesthesia can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on what medications are used, how long your surgery is, your age and other medical conditions you may have. Effects from local anesthesia (numbing medicine placed at your surgical site) usually last for 4-24 hours.
Dr. Barry Press
Plastic Surgery 45 years experience
A day or two: Most people are a little groggy after general anesthesia for any reason. This can last 1-2 days. If you have changes after this, you should contact your surgeon and/or anesthesiologist.
Dr. Seth Akst
Anesthesiology 22 years experience
Several hours: Most general anesthetics, especially for outpatient surgery, will wear off after 2-4 hours post-operatively. That being said, you may find yourself feeling "tired" for another several days post-operatively, due to effects of pain medicines as well as your body's directing energy toward healing. The "sleepiness" you feel when you have a cold is similar to the feeling as you heal.

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Last updated Jan 6, 2020


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