Patient discharge information following general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation

Written by Dr Jill Tomlinson on .

Medications used in anaesthetics take some time to wear off completely, so you are advised to follow the guidelines below for 24 hours after your procedure:
- rest at home
- ideally a responsible adult should stay with you overnight
- take only medication prescribed by your Doctor
- do not drink alcohol
- do not drive a car
- do not take control of machinery or hazardous appliances
- avoid tasks that require concentration or responsible decision making (for example, do not sign legal documents)


Nausea is uncommon. If you are affected do not attempt to eat a large meal. Have small and increasingly frequent (as tolerated) amounts of fluid until the nausea settles. It is not usually severe and is of short duration. Some people find that chewing gum relieves their nausea.

Discomfort due to surgery

If your anaesthetist anticipates that you will require strong analgesic medications for pain these will have been prescribed for you. If you have mild discomfort then simple over-the-counter analgesic medications such as paracetamol (e.g. "Panadol") and ibuprofen (e.g. "Nurofen") are recommended.

The best result is achieved if analgesic medication is taken regularly. If the pain is not controlled with the medications you have been prescribed (and with the actions you have been advised, such as keeping your hand elevated and avoiding excessive activity and movement) please contact your Doctor using the mobile number listed on your post operative instruction sheet.

Sore Throat

A sore throat may occur if a breathing tube was inserted in your throat during the procedure to assist with your breathing. The soreness will usually settle within a day and can be helped with throat lozenges, soothing drinks and paracetamol.


Bruising at the site of your IV injection may appear and could take several days to resolve.

Altered Concentration

Some people find that their concentration is affected for a day or two after a general anaesthetic. This will pass and will not have a lasting effect.