Complications may arise during or after anaesthesia. The most common types of complications are listed below.

Disadvantages and complications of anaesthesia


During the anaesthesia and the surgery, you come into contact with all kinds of substances: anaesthetic drugs, antibiotics, infusion solutions, prosthetic cement, latex (rubber), etc. Some patients may be allergic to it, sometimes without knowing it. This can trigger reactions such as skin rashes, asthma and a drop in blood pressure. Occasionally, these allergies can cause a severe reaction called anaphylactic shock.

If you are aware of any allergies, you should inform the anaesthetist before the procedure.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may occur after surgery. Various factors can cause this: surgical stress, fear, painkillers, type of procedure, etc.

Anaesthetist today use drugs which cause these complications less frequently and/or make them less severe.

Post-operative pain (pain after surgery)

There are many techniques for reducing post-operative pain. Your anaesthetist can tell you all about the best method to help you through the postoperative period.


During a full anaesthetic, a tube is often inserted between the vocal cords to ensure the supply of oxygen to the lungs. Anaesthesia may also cause a dry feeling in the mouth and windpipe. This may cause you to be hoarse for several days.

Dental injuries

Poorly cared for teeth, including loose teeth, may result in tooth damage. Please discuss this in advance with your doctor.

Memory and concentration problems

Any surgical procedure can temporarily disturb the memory. Once the drugs wear off, the memory just comes back.

Consciousness disorders

Due to the use of painkillers, a loss of consciousness is possible in the first 24 hours after the procedure. Therefore, you may not drive a vehicle, perform dangerous work or take important decisions during this period.

Nerve injuries

Both during local, regional and full anaesthesia, nerve injuries may occur exceptionally at the level of the upper and lower limbs. These are perceived as a dull or tingling sensation.

Serious complications

Even though anaesthesia and surgery today have reached a safety level never before achieved, there is still an unpredictable risk of (serious) complications. These are rare and may be due to the anaesthesia, the surgery, the degree of urgency, the pre-existing condition of the disease or a combination of these factors.


The anaesthetist will be happy to answer any questions you may have about possible side effects of anaesthesia.

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