General Anesthesia


Possible Complications

Many steps are taken to prevent problems. Possible risks include:

  • Allergic reaction to anesthetic used
  • Nerve damage or skin breakdown from positioning on the operating table
  • Sore throat or damage to throat, teeth, or vocal cords
  • Lung infections
  • Anesthesia awareness—where the patient becomes aware during the surgery, which is very rare
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Things that can increase the risk of problems are history of:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.