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General Anesthesia


You will feel tired and sleepy after anesthesia. It may take some time before you feel like you are back to normal. General anesthesia remains in your body for at least 24 hours.


Call 911 if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
    • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
    • Trouble breathing
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You continue to have nausea and vomiting after 24 hours.
  • Your pain is worse even after medicine.

Contact your surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You develop a rash, hives, itching, or swelling.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

The first 24 hours after general anesthesia:

  • Rest as much as possible. Have someone stay with you. If you have small children, have someone help to take care of them.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Do not drink alcohol. General anesthesia can cause you to become dehydrated. Alcohol can make dehydration worse.
  • Eat light meals and snacks. This may help you manage nausea and vomiting.
  • Do not drive. Do not operate mechanical or electrical equipment.
  • Do not make important decisions. An example is signing legal documents.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.