General anesthesia tends to lead to some hilarious side effects
It’s a popular online trend we all seem to know and love; the viral video of a person just out of oral surgery who is emotionally incoherent, yelling and jabbering uncontrollably.
You may remember a young woman named Julie, who was certain her oral surgeon didn’t remove her wisdom teeth. Since she couldn’t remember the procedure ever happening, she told her husband, “They didn’t take them out – don’t let them charge us.”
More notably, late last year a Utah woman named Jayci awoke from her procedure wishing she looked like Nicki Minaj and wanting desperately to be friends with Ellen DeGeneres. So popular was that particular video — with well over four million views and counting — that DeGeneres herself saw it and invited Jayci onto her show.
YouTube is filled with these funny moments. Post-op patients are playfully recorded by their loved ones and the results posted online. And this viral video gold is all thanks to the general anesthesia commonly used in oral surgery.
Besides receiving the desired effects of relaxation and temporary sedation to control pain, anesthesia can cause a few harmless but unwanted side effects, including confusion, and strange – perhaps even hilarious — emotional outbursts that include shouting, crying, and singing. These side effects typically last only a few minutes after the patient awakes, so family and friends who hope to catch your hilarity to post on YouTube will have to be quick with the camera.
The biochemical reasons behind this immediate confusion and strange post-op reactions are not well understood. But you can rest assured that the safety and effectiveness of anesthesia are very well understood. It provides a benefit to patients and their surgeons when it comes to handling pain and surgical anxiety.
Medical experts unanimously agree that general anesthesia is very safe, with the risk of complications remaining very small. As with any type drug, medical factors such as drug allergies or preexisting conditions (with the heart, lungs, or liver) must be brought to the surgeon in advance to ensure patient safety. Prior to any procedure involving general anesthesia, be sure you fully answer all of your oral surgeon’s questions.