Risks Associated With Anesthesia


Anesthesia is overall very safe. Most people, even those with significant health conditions, are able to undergo this procedure without serious problems. But some risks may occur. Therefore, you should know some basic information if you are preparing for an anesthesia.

What is anesthesia?

This method is a way to control pain during a surgery or procedure by using a medicine called anesthetic. It can help control your breathing, heartbeat, circulation of the blood (blood pressure). Moreover, it also controls throat reflexes such as swallowing, coughing or gagging and movements of the digestive system to prevent strange materials from being inhaled into your lungs.

Risks associated with anesthesia

All procedures have some risks.

  • After general anesthesia pneumonia, sore throat, heart problems or vomiting can occur.
  • With high doses of local anesthesia, the anesthetic can remain into the rest of the body and affect your heart or brain.
  • After the spinal anesthesia, some people get headaches.

Reasons that make your risks of anesthesia increase

Thanks to advances in science, researches, and modern medicines, surgery and anesthesia are safer now. But this doesn’t mean these procedures are without risks. It depends on your health conditions and your lifestyles.

Your health conditions

Certain health conditions may increase the risks of surgery and the potential complications from anesthesia,  including.

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease (angina, heart failure, valve disease or a previous heart attack)
  • Diabetes
  • Drug allergies
  • Stroke
  • Seizures or other neurological disorders
  • Obesity
  • Kidney problems
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Medications, such as aspirin, that can increase bleeding
  • Lung conditions (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Allergies to anesthesia or a history of adverse reactions to this procedure
  • Other medical conditions involving your hearts, lungs or kidneys

Your lifestyles

  • Cigarette smoking and drinking

 Using alcohol and cigarette can affect your body just as strongly (and sometimes more strongly) than lots of prescription medications you may be taking. Because the toxic substances in them can change the way an anesthetic drug works during surgery. It is important to let your anesthesiologist and surgeon  know about your past, recent, and current consumption of these substances prior to your surgery.

  • Use of street drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, …)

Patients are often reluctant to tell about their illegal drug consumption. But you should remember that all conversations between you and doctors are confidential. It is crucial that they know about your past, recent, and current consumption of these drugs. However, it is important to keep in mind that your physicians want to gain your information to learn enough about your physical condition to provide you the safest procedure. If you don’t tell your anesthesiologist of possible drug use, you could endanger your life. Drug interactions could be very harmful


Be sure to tell all information about your conditions and drugs that you have used before. If you are honest, you will reduce the risks when you take the procedures requiring anesthesia.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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