In many medical procedures, anesthesia is used. It is a kind of temporary induced loss of sensation or awareness. One common type of anesthesia is general anesthesia, which is mainly used for surgical procedures where it may be safer or more comfortable for you to be unconscious.
In general anesthesia, sedation is provided through inhaled or intravenous (IV) medications. Apart from general anesthesia, there are two other types of anesthesia. These are regional (numbing only part of your body, usually below the waist) and local (numbing a small area) anesthetics.
Due to its effects on the entire body, general anesthesia can cause a number of side effects and complications, which mostly depend on your individual condition and the type of surgery.
Most side effects clear up within 24 hours or so. Deep anesthesia, however, can have subtle but long-lasting side effects.
It is common to experience headaches, dizziness and drowsiness shortly after regional or general anesthesia
This usually happens in case of spinal and epidural anesthesia used for operations like Caesarian section, hip replacement or bladder operations involving the lower body. Since the injection is given in the back, it may lead to leakage of the spinal fluid through the punctured hole.
Nausea and Vomiting
Feeling sick and vomiting is one of the most common side effects of general anesthesia. In medical terms, it is known as postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).
PONV may occur in the first 24 hours after surgery and may continue for a couple of days. It may be triggered by a number of factors, such as the medication, motion and type of surgery.
Chills and Shivering
Chills and shivering, medically known as hypothermia, is another common side effect that patients experience once they regain consciousness after surgery.
This shivering can cause a lot of discomfort in patients recovering from general anesthesia. It usually results from the anesthetic inhibiting the body’s thermoregulatory capability.