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Waking up from Anesthesia



10 years ago I had gall bladder surgery and it took me 2 weeks to wake up enough to go back to work. I have 2 or 3 memories from a 3 week period after that surgery. I do not remember getting dressed to go home or the ride home.. or anything until 3 days later. Is there anything I can do to wake up and return to "normal" faster? I am having surgery again next week and am a bit worried.


What sort of surgery are you having? Some procedures can be done without general anesthesia, using instead one or other form of regional anesthesia (nerve block, epidural, spinal anesthesia). Discuss this with your anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is administered using a variety of different drugs at different doses that act in different ways on the central nervous system. An individual's response to, and recovery from general anesthesia also depends on the person's genetic makeup, state of health, and possibly on interactions with other medications that may be taken at the same time. Finally, the recovery process has as much to do with the surgical procedure as it does the anesthesia. If you have to have general anesthesia there is unfortunately not much you can do beforehand to hasten your recovery, apart from standard measures to keep yourself as healthy as possible - eating nutritious food, taking some exercise, quitting smoking, and continuing to take essential medicines for conditions like high blood pressure or asthma.

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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