A member asked:

Is general anesthesia dangerous?

27 doctors weighed in across 8 answers
Dr. Edward Neilsen answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Depends: Although general anesthesia is much, much safer than it used to be, it can cause problems. Even the discomfort from having a temporary breathing tube can be bad. Rarely bad things can happen with anethesia, as with any medical procedure. Doctors will balance the risk of a procedure with the risk of anesthesia. For example, removing a toenail is very low risk - not worth the risk of anesthesia.

Answered 2/11/2019

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Dr. Kamel Ghandour answered

Specializes in

Safer than Ever!!: Hmmm. General anesthesia is safer now than ever in the history of the world. Nothing in medicine & nursing is ever 100% safe. At our our hospital we take give anesthesia to people who are shot 3 times in the chest & they do well! 90 year olds also do well! it has to do with training & experience & the safety standards that we have as a specialty. Soon anesthesia will become even safer.

Answered 12/12/2019

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Dr. David Edsall answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Relative to what: I have done anesthesia for 42000 cases, no deaths, mi, wake ups during surgery for generals, no comas, my most frequent problems =16 broken teeth, 22 inhailing vomit giving 3 pneumonias, two nerve damages. Is that safe? When i started the death rate was 1 per 5000 now it is less than 1 per 200, 000 for healthy patients. Is that safe? Not nearly as safe as the airlines and it should be and can be.

Answered 12/12/2019

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Dr. Richard O'Leary answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Yes and no: Having an anesthetic does have small risks associated with it. The chance of death from an anesthetic is approx 1/250, 000. It is statistically more dangerous to drive on the freeway to the hospital than to have the anesthetic.

Answered 12/12/2019

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Dr. Matt Malkin answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Yes and no: It generally depends on the health of the patient. Patients are classified as asa 1 to 5, with higher numbers implying higher risk. While loss of airway protection, breathing and lowering of blood pressure are almost certain, life-threatening complications are very rare (1 in hundreds of thousands) in healthy patients. The best way to reduce risk is to follow pre-op instructions and live healthy!

Answered 12/12/2019

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Dr. David Rosenfeld answered

Specializes in Pain Management

In general no: The risks are low in an otherwise healthy individual. Even in those who have medical problems the risks of modern day anesthesia are low.

Answered 9/30/2020

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Dr. Richard Pollard answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

No it is very safe: The risk of general anesthesia (ga) is less than that of driving to the hospital to have the operation. Ga is thought to have a risk of death of one in 350, 000 cases or more. Advances in monitoring, medical training, drugs and support have greatley decreased the risk. The main concerns after ga are usually nausea and vomiting post operatively.

Answered 12/12/2019

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Dr. Daniela Torres answered

Specializes in Medicina General

No. : La anestesia general no es peligrosa EN MANOS EXPERTAS, siempre debe ser realizada por un medico con especialidad, es decir un medico anestesiólogo certificado. Saludos!

Answered 5/2/2019

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