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Fatigue After General Anesthesia

Fatigue after general anesthesia is very common and is secondary to the disruption of biological rhythms and the sedative effects caused by the drugs used for sedation. It can be felt for a few days to a few months in nearly one third of anesthetized patients.

This can result in both a late recovery in regard to personal and professional activities and an increase in the number of post-procedural accidents.


Fatigue is a major symptom observed after general anesthesia. It is accompanied by sleep disorders and sleepiness during the day.

These symptoms are felt even in the case of a short-term anesthesia, independent of surgical uses.


It is essential to find the cause of fatigue, which may also be due to an illness. A general exam allows a doctor to diagnose fatigue caused by a general anesthetic. A second-line analysis may be prescribed in order to rule out other possible causes.


Stimulants and vitamins may be prescribed, but above all: rest. Depending on the type of surgery undergone, a short (or long) break from work is recommended.


To avoid fatigue after general anesthesia, rapidly eliminated anesthetics are used more and more often. In this case, the post-surgical occurrence can take place in a relatively short period of time; consequently, the patient's internal clock does not undergo a significant shift and fatigue is avoided.

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