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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Anesthesia: Home Care and Complications


Anesthesia | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

What happens later at home?

General anesthesia and a major operation can cause stress on the body. No matter what anesthesia is used, most people feel that they are back to normal by the next day. For some people, it may take a few days.

What are the potential complications after the procedure?

The most feared complication of anesthesia is death. This occurs in roughly 1 out of every 10,000 people who have general, epidural, or spinal anesthesias. It is not usually possible to predict who will have this severe reaction.

Other problems can occur, including:

  • liver damage
  • kidney damage
  • seizures
  • low blood pressure
  • allergic reactions
  • Other problems depend on the type of anesthesia used. For example:

  • General anesthesia may result in mouth or throat damage. This is because a tube is placed in the throat and connected to a ventilator. Other mild side effects may be nausea and vomiting.
  • Epidural or spinal anesthesia may cause headaches, bleeding, or infection at the site where the needle is inserted.
  • Local and topical anesthesias are less likely to cause a problem. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, and seizures have occurred with some anesthesias.

    The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently issued a warning about the potential side effects and interactions of herbal remedies with medications used before, during, and after surgery. The group recommends that a person stop taking all herbs at least two weeks before planned surgery.

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    Anesthesia: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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