What to Expect After Anesthesia: Everything You Need to Know

Anesthetic treatments are standard for patients undergoing any surgical procedure. Some types of anesthesia ensure you dont feel pain, while others keep you relaxed or asleep throughout your surgery. Depending on your level of sedation, you may need more recuperation time after your procedure for the effects of anesthesia to wear off.

Learn everything you need to know about the different types of anesthesia, the effects of sedation, and what to expect after anesthesia. Find out what steps are necessary to prepare for your surgical procedure and post-operative recovery.

What to Expect After Anesthesia: What Are the Effects After Sedation?

Before patients undergo oral surgery, they often wonder whether anesthesia is safe, what to expect after anesthesia, and what are the general effects of sedation.  Anesthesia is safe and effective when administered by a well trained oral surgeon, such as Dr. Valiente, who is a board certified oral surgeon, and has had extensive anesthesia training, allowing him to offer a variety of anesthetic techniques. When it comes to providing for your safety and comfort, Dr. Valiente is unparalleled.  The level of sedation you receive depends on your type of surgery, health history, and preference.

Various types of anesthesia produce different levels of sedation to ensure your comfort and safety during surgery. Some patients are more comfortable remaining conscious during surgery, while others prefer to be unconscious. You can express any preferences, concerns, or questions to Dr. Valiente in your surgical consultation.

Types of Anesthesia: General, Twilight, Nitrous Oxide and Local,

General Anesthesia: Why Its Used and What to Expect

General anesthesia produces the highest level of sedation and is often used in lengthy or complex procedures.  General anesthesia works to produce a sleep-like state in which you are entirely unconscious. It is a combination of intravenous drugs that help to numb your brains pain responses and reflexes during surgery.  Your doctor and team ensure your vitals are strong and manages your breathing during your procedure to keep you safe.

After your surgery is complete, Dr. Valiente and his team will continue to monitor your breathing while you regain consciousness. When you wake up, however, the effects of anesthesia are still active in your body, which could make you feel physically tired and mentally groggy. Many patients awake after surgery thinking that they have yet to go in for the procedure.

Are there side effects from general anesthesia?

Besides feeling sleepy, some patients wake from general anesthesia feeling fine, while others may experience some side effects. General anesthesia’s common side effects include sore throat, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Fortunately, with the newer anesthetic techniques, these side effects are rare. If you experience any of these effects, the doctor will give you medication to help ease the discomfort.

Oral surgery often produces minor swelling and soreness within the two to three days following your procedure. Your anesthesia care team and doctor will provide post-surgery instructions to help you efficiently manage pain and swelling during your recovery. Inform a member of your post-operative care team if you have with any discomfort.

No Driving Allowed After Anesthesia

You must bring a responsible companion to your procedure who plans to transport you home following surgery and stay with you for the rest of the day. For your safety, patients undergoing general anesthesia are not permitted to leave the office without a responsible adult.

What to Expect from Other Types of Anesthesia

General anesthesia is not necessary for every oral surgery procedure, and there are several alternatives to full sedation. Twilight sedation provides a sleepy feeling without rendering the patient unconscious. Under twilight sedation therapy, you can communicate during the procedure and, afterwards, recover more quickly from its effects. However, like with general sedation, you may feel groggy and will not be able to drive yourself home from the procedure.   Nitrous Oxide analgesia (laughing gas) is also a safe sedative that will help you relax during oral surgery while you are still awake and you are able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

What to Expect from Local Anesthesia

Many oral surgery procedures only require a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. A local anesthetic is an injection that numbs a small area of your body where the surgery will be performed, but it is not a sedative.

Local anesthesia such as lidocaine eliminates any feeling around the surgical area, but you remain fully conscious and alert throughout your procedure. It may take several hours to regain sensation in the area following surgery, but you do not need a responsible party with you. You can drive yourself home and return to everyday life almost immediately following your surgery.  We do recommend rest for 1 – 2 days after any surgery is performed to ensure a healthy recuperation.

Still have questions? Schedule an Appointment

The best anesthesia option for you depends on your procedure, preference, and doctors recommendation. Schedule a consultation appointment to learn more about sedation and what to expect after anesthesia.