Anesthesia controls pain. And it keeps all your organs working normally during surgery or another kind of procedure.
Anesthesia can relax you. It can also make you sleepy or forgetful. Or it may make you unconscious. It depends on what kind you get.
Your anesthesia provider (anesthesiologist) will make sure you are comfortable and safe during the
procedure or surgery.
There are different types of anesthesia.
The type of
anesthesia you have depends on many things, such as:
You will talk with your
anesthesia provider about your options. In many cases, you may be able to choose the type of anesthesia you have.
Major side effects are not common. But all types of anesthesia have some risk. Your
risk depends on your overall health. It also depends on the type of anesthesia you have and how you
respond to it. Serious but rare risks include breathing problems, heart attack,
stroke, and reaction to the medicine.
Some health conditions
increase the risk of problems. Your anesthesia provider will find out about any health problems you have that may affect your care.
anesthesia provider will closely watch your vital signs during anesthesia and surgery. This includes checking your blood
pressure and heart rate. This may help you avoid problems from anesthesia.
You will get a
list of instructions to help you prepare. Your
doctor will let you know what to expect when you get to the hospital, during
the surgery, and after.
You will get instructions about when to stop eating and drinking.
If you take medicine, you will get instructions about what you can and can't take before surgery.
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of anesthesia. Before you do, your anesthesia provider will talk with you about the best type for you and the risks and benefits of that type.
Many people are
nervous before they have anesthesia and surgery. Ask your doctor about ways to
relax before surgery. These may include relaxation exercises or
after the surgery, you will be in the recovery room. Nurses will make sure you are comfortable. As the anesthesia wears off, you may feel
some pain and discomfort from your surgery.
Tell someone if you have pain. Pain medicine works better if you take it before the pain gets
You may feel some of the effects of anesthesia for several
Other common side effects of anesthesia include:
For minor surgeries, you may go home the same day. For
other surgeries you may stay in the hospital. Your doctor will check on your
recovery from the anesthesia. He or she will answer any questions you may have.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go
to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also
a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you
Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed
Enter V817 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Anesthesia."
Current as of:
August 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.