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If you have a surgery scheduled sometime soon, you might be curious about what to expect as far as general anesthesia is concerned. Many people get a bit worried about anesthesia simply because they aren’t familiar with it. There are some potential side effects that you might have to deal with, but it’s important to note that general anesthesia is very safe overall. Read on to learn more about the side effects of general anesthesia as well as some basic information that can help put your mind at ease. 

Typical Side Effects of General Anesthesia

There are many typical side effects that you might experience when you are given general anesthesia. Many patients experience chills and shivering when waking up from the anesthetic. It’s also very likely that you’ll feel like your mouth is dry, and your throat might also be sore. A tube is placed down your throat while you’re put under to assist your breathing, so a little soreness is very normal.

You might also feel a bit nauseous, and some patients even vomit. Certain people will feel a bit sick for one or two days, but for most people, the nausea doesn’t last long at all. Other potential common side effects include muscle aches, general confusion, bladder issues, and dizziness when standing. The general confusion will likely pass after a few hours but sometimes lingers for a few days for older adults. 

Uncommon Long-Term Side Effects

Some people will experience long-term side effects due to anesthesia. Older adults seem to be more prone to having negative experiences. A small percentage of people may experience postoperative delirium after surgery. This means that they will have problems remembering things for a while. For most people, this goes away after a week. 

It’s also worth noting that sometimes people experience postoperative cognitive dysfunction. This is a more serious cognitive issue that could last for a long time, but most experts don’t think that it’s actually caused by the anesthesia. It’s thought to occur as a result of the surgery itself. Even so, it’s good to remember that this issue is not common and that you likely won’t have to worry about any lingering memory issues or cognitive losses.