Do patients who have had anesthesia suffer a drop in IQ scores?
—Thomas H. Guerra, MD, San Antonio

It is important to distinguish cognitive-behavioral changes resulting from either the underlying condition prompting the anesthesia and/or complications from the surgical procedure itself from changes attributable solely to anesthesia. A number of studies done in normal volunteers and subjects undergoing routine operations show no discernible persistent anesthesia-related cognitive or behavioral changes lasting longer than several hours to a few days postanesthesia.
—R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM (106-1)

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