Risks associated with your anaesthetic

Anaesthetic techniques and equipment have greatly improved over the last 60 years, as has the training and safety equipment to protect you. If you are in good health modern anaesthetics are really very safe. All procedures though have some risks. The leaflets below are designed to look at the main risks of anaesthetics.

They each discuss side effects or complications that could occur – some are more common and we explain how these can be prevented or treated. Other rarer complications are also discussed, but you should ask your anaesthetist about whether they are likely to apply to you.

This section should help you understand a little about many of the potential risks but it is important to discuss any particular worries you have with your anaesthetist.

We talk about balancing risk – this means trying to balance the positives of having the operation against the risks and deciding on whether you want to go ahead. There are two more sections in this area of the website that give you more information if you are interested in reading more about how we look at risk and what the numbers really mean: