Instructions after anaesthetic or sedation


After a general anaesthetic or sedation your reasoning, reflexes, judgement and coordination can be affected, even though you might feel fine.

It’s important to follow this safety advice if you had:

  • a general anaesthetic
  • sedation

The information on this page does not apply if you had a local or regional anaesthetic.

For 24 hours after sedation or general anaesthetic


  • call us if you have a problem or are worried about anything
  • rest
  • ask someone to stay with you if you had general anaesthetic 
  • be careful about what you post on social media while your judgement is affected


  • do not drive any vehicle, including a bicycle
  • do not operate machinery
  • do not cook, use sharp utensils (kitchen tools) or pour hot liquids
  • do not drink alcohol
  • do not smoke
  • do not take sleeping tablets
  • do not make any important decisions or sign any contracts

Extra instructions if you had general anaesthetic

  • You should follow these instructions for an extra 24 hours.
  • Do not go to work, or to your place of training or study, on the day after surgery.

Resource number: 2737/VER5
Last reviewed: June 2023
Next review: June 2026

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