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Anaesthesia (General)

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Advice After Surgery Under General Anaesthesia

These instructions provide general information and advice on coping with the effects of general anaesthesia after surgery. Taking these precautions may help to reduce risks and complications.

What is General Anaesthesia?

Anaesthesia is a state of loss of sensation on a temporary basis. In general anaesthesia, the patient is completely unconscious and unable to move or feel pain. General anaesthesia may be administered intravenously (IV) or via inhalation, by an anaesthetist who will be monitoring you throughout surgery. You may still feel some effects of general anaesthesia up to 24 hours after surgery.

What Should I Take Note of After Undergoing General Anaesthesia?

You are advised to refrain from the following activities within 24 hours after anaesthesia/surgery:

  • Driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle
  • Operating any machinery or dangerous tools or electrical appliances, e.g. cooker, kettle
  • Performing any task that requires skills, co-ordination or judgment, e.g. financial transactions, legal documentation, etc
  • Consuming alcohol or sedatives/medication such as sleeping pills, tranquilisers, etc
  • Engaging in strenuous exercise

You are advised to have a responsible adult stay with you in the first 24 hours after surgery, as general anaesthesia can make you feel sleepy and disoriented.

Do not lock yourself in the room or toilet, or make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you.

When Do I Need to Seek Medical Attention After Discharge?

Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Excessive pain or headache that is unable to be relieved by the prescribed painkillers
  • Excessive nausea and vomiting and inability to retain oral fluids
  • Excessive bleeding from or swelling of the wound
  • Inability to pass urine 12 hours after surgery
  • Unexpected drowsiness
  • Unusual weakness of the limbs

Please note that the abovementioned guidelines are not exhaustive.

If you experience any of the above, please call us at 6357 1444 during office hours*, or seek treatment at the Emergency Department, Basement 1, Tan Tock Seng Hospital after office hours.

Office hours

Monday - Friday: 8.00 am - 5.00 pm
Saturday: 8.00 am - 12.00 pm
Sunday & Public Holiday: Closed

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