Side effects of general anaesthetic

General anaesthesia is very safe, but like any medical procedure you may experience some side effects. Most side effects occur immediately after surgery and don’t last long. Tell your medical team if any of these side effects get worse or worry you.

Nausea and vomiting You may feel nauseous or vomit within 24 hours of surgery, but medicines can control these side effects. Sometimes vomiting makes you feel better. Some people continue to feel nauseous for the first few days after they are discharged from hospital but this will improve.
Chills and dizziness Your body may cool down after surgery, so you could feel cold and shiver. During surgery and recovery, your temperature will be maintained, usually with warm blankets. Some people feel dizzy from the anaesthetic or because they may be dehydrated. You will be monitored to make sure you aren’t getting an infection.
Agitation You might cry or feel restless and anxious when you wake up. Some people feel like their arms or legs are twitchy. This is a normal reaction.
Sore throat or hoarseness The tube put in your throat to help you breathe during surgery can leave you with a sore throat or a hoarse voice after the tube is removed. This should get better in a few days.
Mental effects

You may feel confused, groggy or “fuzzy” in the minutes or hours after you wake up, and you may not remember why you had surgery.

Most people make a full recovery within a few hours. In some cases, this may take days, particularly in elderly people and those who had memory problems before surgery.

Rarely, people have ongoing mental effects (such as fogginess or mild memory loss) for a week or several months after surgery. This is called postoperative cognitive dysfunction. The reasons for this are unknown.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on surgery


Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in April 2019
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Online Community
Check out this supportive online community for people affected by cancer

Cancer Connect
Talk to someone who has experienced cancer

Need legal and financial assistance?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

Staying healthy after treatment
Learn how to take a balanced approach to exercise, diet and risk factors

Relaxation and meditation
Learn how relaxation and mediation can help you both during and after cancer treatment, or listen to our relaxation and meditation audio tracks

TOP BACK TO TOP