Loss of Smell and Taste After General Anesthesia: A Case Report

A A Case Rep. 2017 Dec 15;9(12):346-348. doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000612.


This case report describes a patient, who lost the ability to smell and taste after receiving a propofol-based general anesthesia for a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Immediately after the procedure, the patient had anosmia (loss of smell), ageusia (loss of taste), and light dysphagia. Assessment by an otorhinolaryngologist and the results of a magnetic resonance imaging could not clarify the pathology behind these symptoms. Although there are several plausible explanations for the patient's anosmia and ageusia (eg, cerebral infarcts, nerve damage, chronic sinusitis), the most likely explanation is an uncommon adverse drug reaction to the anesthetic agents used during the procedure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ageusia / etiology*
  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology*