Recovering from General Anesthesia

As you may know, general anesthesia causes the patient to temporarily lose sensation and consciousness, and local anesthesia causes the loss of sensation in a specific area. General anesthesia is a a bit more intense on the body than its localized counterpart, and has a few more side effects (which can range from moderate to severe.)

In most cases, the woozy, clouded feeling that patients experience after going under will dissipate after a few hours. For some though, the side effects are more severe:

  • Muscle Aches
  • Soreness in the Throat (from the breathing tube)
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Chills & Shivering (from your body regulating temperature)

In even more severe cases with serious complications, patients may experience:

  • Delirium (confusion, disorientation, mild memory loss)
  • Cognitive Dysfunction

All people who undergo anesthesia are looking to get “back to normal” as soon as possible. There are a few different things that individuals can do in order to bounce back more quickly.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most important parts of the recovery process is to make sure that you’re drinking water. Proper hydration allows your body to eliminate toxins, which is what you need to be doing to rid yourself of the traces of anesthesia in your body.

You should aim to drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water day, and don’t wait until your body gives you the signal that you’re thirsty. If you’re feeling thirst, your body has already started to feel dehydrated. Set an alarm for every hour between 9–5 and make sure you drink an ounce every hour.

Adjust Your Diet

While you’re recovering from the anesthesia, you should try to avoid consuming saturated fats from meats and dairy. Look to beans or whey protein powder supplement those proteins during that recovery period. Also eliminate sugar and alcohol from your diet, as they can block the flow of bile. If your bile flow is slowed or blocked, your body has a harder time getting rid of the anesthetics in your body.

Instead, consume lots of fiber, particularly the water-soluble fibers found in fruits and vegetables. Your best bets: broccoli, cabbages, apples, pears, and legumes.

Sources: Mind Body Green & American Society of Anesthesiologists


Originally published at dredwinperez.org.