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General anesthesia is medicine to help keep you asleep and pain free during a procedure or surgery. Your caregiver will use general anesthesia to make sure you are completely asleep during surgery. General anesthesia can be used for most kinds of surgeries. The medicine is given through your IV, a face mask, or a tube in your nose or throat.
Caregivers will place an endotracheal tube (ET) or laryngeal mask to protect your airway and lungs during surgery. These devices can be used to give you oxygen or general anesthesia. The ET can be put into your mouth or nose, and is usually removed before you wake up. The laryngeal mask fits into the back of your throat.
You will be taken to a room where you can rest until you are awake. Depending on your surgery or procedure, you will be taken to your hospital room or sent home. Arrange to have someone drive you home from the hospital. Do not drive yourself home. It is best if you can have someone stay with you for 24 hours after you have general anesthesia.
Tell your caregiver if you think you are pregnant. Tell him if you or anyone in your family has ever had any problems with anesthesia, such as a high fever. Anesthesia may make it difficult to think. Do not make important decisions for 24 hours after you receive anesthesia.
You could have a severe reaction to the medicine. The medicine may cause nausea and vomiting. The medicine may also cause you to have a seizure, a very high fever, or a heart attack. These conditions may be life-threatening.
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