Some common risks to be aware of

Risks associated with anaesthesia depend on many factors including the type of surgery, the medical condition and age of the patient, and the urgency of the procedure.

Fortunately adverse events are rare. Your anaesthetist takes precautions to minimise or prevent adverse events. The information presented here is as a general guide only. Specific risks vary form patient to patient and you are encouraged at all times to ask questions and to gather information from other sources.

The following may occur:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Sore throat
  • Pain, infection or injury at the site of injection of anaesthetic medication
  • Temporary nerve damage - this may result in numbness, pain or loss of function of the affected part
  • Muscle pain
  • Damage to teeth, lips or tongue, skin or eyes
  • Asthmatic reaction

Rare but very serious reactions include:

  • Awareness
  • Heart attack, stroke, severe allergy or brain damage may occur
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Permanent nerve damage or paralysis resulting in the loss of function of limbs, breathing control, bladder or bowel function
  • Damage to the voice box that may result in permanent voice changes
  • Infection from blood transfusion by bacteria, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS

The anaesthetic may affect your judgment. For 24 hours you must not:

  • Drive
  • Operate machinery
  • Cook
  • Sign any legal documents