Instructions Following General Anesthetic, Adult

A nurse specialized in giving anesthesia (anesthetist) or a doctor specialized in giving anesthesia (anesthesiologist) gave you a medicine that made you sleep while a procedure was performed. For as long as 24 hours following this procedure, you may feel:

  • Dizzy.

  • Weak.

  • Drowsy.


After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area where a nurse will monitor your progress. You will be allowed to go home when you are awake, stable, taking fluids well, and without complications.

For the first 24 hours following an anesthetic:

  • Have a responsible person with you.

  • Do not drive a car. If you are alone, do not take public transportation.

  • Do not drink alcohol.

  • Do not take medicine that has not been prescribed by your caregiver.

  • Do not sign important papers or make important decisions.

  • You may resume normal diet and activities as directed.

  • Change bandages (dressings) as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

If you have questions or problems that seem related to the anesthetic, call the hospital and ask for the anesthetist or anesthesiologist on call.


  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You develop any allergic problems.