Cold Home > Cold Symptoms and Anesthesia

There is always a chance that complications may occur when anesthesia is used, and a cold could increase the likelihood of such complications. If you have been experiencing cold symptoms and anesthesia will be used during your surgery, you need to let your doctor know. Your surgery may need to be postponed.

An Overview of Cold Symptoms and Anesthesia

There are a number of possible complications that can occur with anesthesia, and a person's general health can affect the likelihood of these complications occurring. So if you have been experiencing cold symptoms prior to surgery, make sure to let your doctor know. He or she will consider a number of factors to determine whether to go ahead with surgery or postpone it until the cold symptoms have improved.
Some of the factors your doctor will consider related to anesthesia and cold symptoms include:
  • The type of surgery
  • The type of anesthesia
  • Your age and general health
  • His or her personal preference.

What Does the Research Say?

Limited research has been performed on the relationship between anesthesia and cold symptoms. Two separate studies, one involving adults and one involving children, showed an increased risk of anesthesia complications in those people with current or recent colds.
The study of adults recommended that surgery be postponed at least two weeks. The study of children concluded that most children with current or recent cold symptoms can undergo elective surgery without significant increase in complications related to anesthesia.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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