10 Possible Side Effects of General Anesthesia You Need to Know

By Denis Courtney

Anesthesia is a medication for surgical patients that produces a temporary, artificial state of consciousness or loss of physical sensation. Anesthesia is helpful during medical procedures like surgery, tooth extraction or other painful medical procedures. It is necessary when people are having an operation, because of the potential for extreme pain and discomfort. People may even die if they undergo major surgery without anesthesia. That is why doctors must administer anesthesia for many medical procedures.

What are the Types of Anesthesia?

The medical specialist who administers anesthesia is called an anesthesiologist. There are three main types of anesthesia, including:

  • Local: This is local numbing of a small area.
  • Regional: This causes half of the body to become numb and paralyzed for a certain amount of time.
  • General: This creates a complete loss of consciousness.

What type of anesthesia a doctor decides on depends on what the issue is and what procedure the patient will have. Anesthesia is given to a patient via inhalation or intravenously.

When people have a severe accident and parts of their bodies are badly damaged, anesthesia is helpful. Medical personnel oftentimes administer it before they can deliver treatment for any other issues because it diminishes pain instantly and it makes your body relax more.

Another use for anesthesia is for mothers who have difficulty delivering their baby. The doctor may resort to performing a cesarean section where they surgically remove the baby from the womb. Often in these situations, anesthesia numbs the lower half of the mother’s body, so she can’t feel any pain whatsoever or move her legs. However, she is still conscious and aware of everything that is happening.

Before the anesthesiologist administers anesthesia, they talk to the patient and studies their medical history, such as allergies. Patients have to sign a form of consent before the process even begins. For people who are minors, their parent or guardian needs to sign the consent form. An adult also has to be present during the procedure, just in case there is an emergency. After surgery, patients receive medication to help their body deal with the side effects of anesthesia.

As helpful as it is, there are some common side effects of anesthesia you should know about. Read on to learn more about them, as well as how to avoid them.

  1. Nausea and Vomiting

Depending on the type of surgery, nausea and vomiting can occur. This side effect usually clears up after 24 hours. Vomiting and nausea can also occur after a patient endures an uncomfortable position for a long time. Medical experts call this postoperative nausea and vomiting. This feeling might continue for a couple of days, depending on the way your body reacts to the anesthesia drugs.

This process of nausea and vomiting is uncomfortable. A patient can lose weight and become dehydrated in the process. If you experience this, you need to drink lots of fluids. You should try to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals to ensure your body stays strong. Having anesthesia is like consuming drugs and alcohol. It causes your body to produce more acids, which causes your blood to adapt to the situation. When the anesthesia stops, your body becomes confused and off-balance, which leads to nausea and vomiting.

People who often experience minor motion sickness may not experience this type of side effect for long because their body is accustomed to feeling nauseated. So, any nausea they may experience is usually short-lived because their bodies know how to adjust to the feeling. This can also apply to the women who have had morning sickness during their pregnancy.

Recent research studies suggest the people who experienced the most nausea and vomiting were female or those who have a severe problem with motion sickness. They also discovered that younger people are more affected, as well as non-smokers. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid nausea and vomiting. However, by consuming the proper foods and liquids to stay hydrated and well-nourished, you can fight it and can get back to your normal self quickly.

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