General anesthesia is used for more extensive procedures or for procedures that aren't amenable to regional anesthesia
. The medications used in general anesthesia are given intravenously or by inhalation. The drugs circulate in your bloodstream to all areas of your body, including your brain. They can suppress all of your protective reflexes, such as coughing, gagging and even breathing. Consequently, a general anesthetic
requires the use of a mask or breathing tube while you're asleep.
Because general anesthetics affect all areas of your body, such as the heart and lungs, side effects from the medications are more common.
Most people do not experience any problems following anesthesia. Serious complications of an anesthetic are very rare. Minor and temporary side effects may be experienced in some cases. This will again depend upon the surgery performed and the overall health status of the individual. A feeling of drowsiness
is not uncommon following anesthetic administration. It soon wears off quickly following the surgery. A mild discomfort is usually felt in some cases.Chest infection
and deep vein thrombosis
can occur in some cases.