General anesthesia refers to total body anesthesia. Under general anesthesia, you are unconscious and you won’t feel pain during your surgery or procedure.
Prior to your scheduled surgery, your anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss your health history, current medications and other topics important to determining the safest combination of drugs and dosages. Factors considered include:
- Health history
- Current medications (prescription, over-the-counter and herbal supplements)
- Previous anesthetics taken and your experience
- Fasting time
Right before your surgery, the anesthesiologist will give you a combination of medications, either intravenous medications, gases or a combination of both. While you are under general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will closely observe you, fine-tuning the level of medications, monitoring your breathing, and measuring your temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs. Once the surgery is complete, the anesthesia will be stopped and you will gradually wake up. You may experience common, short-term side effects of general anesthesia, such as grogginess, nausea, dry mouth, sore throat and shivering.