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General Anaesthesia

  • Application of monitoring and siting of a cannula as described above
  • You will be given oxygen via a face mask before you go to sleep
  • The anaesthetic will be induced with an injection or breathing narcotic gas in selected cases. The injection may sting or burn a bit for a short while.
  • When you are asleep an airway will be placed to support your breathing
  • You will then be taken to the operating theatre and positioned for the operation
  • Pain killers, antibiotics, anti-sickness and anti-inflammatory medication, fluids and muscle relaxants may also be given. Blood is only given if really necessary (e.g. in a larger blood loss)
  • For larger operations you may also need an arterial line (cannula into an artery to measure your blood pressure beat by beat) or a neck line (central venous line) or a urinary catheter (tube in your bladder) for a short time
  • The anaesthetic can be maintained with anaesthetic gases and oxygen or by an intravenous infusion
  • After the operation the anaesthetic drugs will be stopped and you will wake up in the recovery room


Possible complications / risks with general anaesthesia

(sorted by probability of occurence)


1:10 to 1:100 (very common & common)

  • Sickness and vomiting after surgery (despite anti-sickness drugs)
  • Sore throat, hoarseness, coughing
  • Dizziness, blurred vision, itching shivering
  • Headache, aches, pains, backache, bruising, soreness
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder
  • Confusion, memory loss
  • Damage to lips or tongue


1:1,000 (uncommon)

  • Slow breathing, chest infection
  • Muscle pains
  • Damage to teeth
  • Worsening medical condition
  • Awareness (being conscious during the operation)

1:10,000 to 1:100,000 (rare & very rare)

  • Heart attack, stroke
  • Severe allergy to drugs (1:10,000 to 1:20,000)
  • Damage to the eyes
  • Nerve damage
  • Death (1:200,000)
  • Equipment failure

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