Phone: 973-940-3166
Fax: 973-940-3170
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The Effects of Anesthesia on the Body


When patients come in for surgery, they often wonder what it will be like recovering from anesthesia. While the side effects may be uncomfortable, patients may find relief knowing that the symptoms are short-lived and often fade quickly. While not all of the treatments at Specialty Surgical Center use general anesthesia (completely asleep), many of them do, so it is important for patients to understand how anesthesia effects the body post-operatively in order to have a more positive surgical experience.

During the procedure, an anesthesiologist will be closely monitoring you in order to ensure the body is staying in balance while under anesthesia. Once the patient is taking to the recovery room, he or she may begin to wake up, but some effects of anesthesia may still be present for a few days after the procedure. One of the most common side effects of general anesthesia is a condition known as post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Additional symptoms may include confusion, sore throat, shivering, and feelings of exhaustion. The anesthesiologist can speak to patients before their surgery to discuss the patient’s risk of developing these side effects post-operatively, because they may be more likely during certain procedures.

There are ways the Specialty Surgical Center staff can help mitigate these symptoms. The team will instruct patients on proper post-operative nutrition and adequate water intake in order to reduce any feelings of discomfort. You may not be able to eat or drink right away, but since you will come into surgery on an empty stomach, having a small amount of food may help.

Because Specialty Surgical Center is an ambulatory surgery center, patients will get to return home the same day and will not require a hospital stay, so many of the side effects may occur in the comfort of one’s home. Our anesthesiology team advises that symptoms may last for a few days after the procedure, but the staff will be available to recommend ways to make your recovery at home as comfortable as possible. For example, in order to curb symptoms of nausea, a patient may find relief slowly sipping on ginger ale. Additionally, some medications may be handled better if they are taken with food.

While it may seem as though general anesthesia has many side effects, there are still ways to prevent them. Before your surgery, speak to your anesthesiologist about an after care game plan to help manage symptoms. Learning about the entire procedure often treats anxieties surrounding surgery, and our staff is willing to help in any way they can.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.