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Anesthesia

Post Surgery Anesthisia Elimination

10/01/2007

Question:

What methods are available to help eliminate the anesthesia given during surgery from you body? How long does "general" anestesia remain in your system after a 4 hour surgery?

Answer:

Nothing that I know of speeds the elimination of anesthesia from the body, other than general good health, and good genes. The elimination of anesthesia drugs from the body require your heart and lungs to function well, and your kidneys and liver to break down and excrete the medicines. We don't have any magic for any of those things. "Antidotes" for certain drugs do exist, but they often cause more harm than benefit. The duration that drugs remain in your "system" depends on your system and on the drugs - there are many different ones in use. If you measure the common ones in blood or tissues, it is hard to find much around after about 24 hours or so, but that doesn't mean you are instantly back to normal. Surgery is trauma and your body takes time to heal.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University