Very common (1/10 – 1/100)

  • FEELING SEEK AND VOMITIMG AFTER SURGERY: Some operations and anaesthetic and pain-relieving drugs are more likely to cause sickness (nausea) than others. Sickness can be treated with anti-vomiting drugs (anti-emetics), but it may last from a few hours to several days.
  • SORE THROAT: If you have had a tube in your airway to help you breathe, it may give you a sore throat. The discomfort or pain lasts from a few hours to days and can be treated with pain-relieving lozenges.
  • DIZZINESS, BLURRED VISION: Your anaesthetic or loss of fluids may lower your blood pressure and make you feel faint. Fluids or drugs (or both) will be given into your drip to treat this.
  • SHIVERING: This may be due to you getting cold during the surgery, to some drugs, or to stress. You can be warmed very efficiently using a hot-air blanket.
  • HEADACHE: This may be due to the effects of The anaesthetic, to the surgery, to lack of fluids, or to anxiety. More severe headaches may occur after a spinal or epidural anaesthetic. The headache usually gets better in a few hours and can be treated with pain relievers. If it lasts a long time, it may need special treatment.
  • ITCHING: This is a side effect of opiates (such as morphine) but can also happen as an allergic reaction (for example, to drugs, sterilising fluids or stitches (sutures). If you have itchiness, it can be treated with other drugs.
  • ACHES, PAINS AND BACKACHE: During your operation you may lie in the same position on a firm operating table for a long time. Great care is taken to position you, but some people still feel uncomfortable afterwards.
  • PAIN DURING INJECTION OF DRUGS: Drugs used may cause some pain or discomfort when they are injected.
  • BRUISING AND SORENESS: This may be caused around injection and drip sites by a thin vein bursting, movement of a nearby joint, or infection. It normally settles without treatment, but if the area becomes uncomfortable, the position of the drip can be changed.
  • CONFUSION OR MEMORY LOSS: This is common among older people who have had an operation under general anaesthetic. It may be due to several causes. It is usually temporary, but may last a few days or weeks.

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