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How Long Does It Usually Take to Wake Up from General Anesthesia if Going for a Mommy Makeover for 4 Hours?

Doctor Answers (40)

Waking From Anesthesia


Most patients will wake up within a few minutes of the completion of a Mommy Makeover. Generally as the final dressings are being placed, the anesthesiologist will lighten the anesthesia allowing the patient to gently begin to respond to verbal commands. Even though patients are awake and responding in the operating room, they may not remember this time as the medications given during the surgery will make them forgetful. Once patients are in the recovery room and less sleepy, they will be more aware of their surroundings.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Anesthesia wake-up time after mommy makeover depends on type of anesthesia.


You will often see by the other answers here that if a surgeon operates in a setting that utilizes a certain type of anesthesia more commonly than others, this will be the "recommended" type of anesthesia. Prior to 1991, our office surgical facility utilized only local aneshtesia or IV sedation, and my partners and I touted our anesthetic regimen as "safer and superior" to "going completely asleep" with a general anesthetic. Since 1991, when we started offering full anesthesia options, including monitored sedation and general anesthesia (but using total intravenous anesthesia drugs rather than inhalation anesthetic gases), we have had less postoperative nausea, vomiting, and reoperation for bleeding! So now I truthfully believe that for many patients, our total intravenous general anesthesia regimen is better for patient comfort, safety, and allows me to do my best work without having my patient endure any discomfort! Our patients routinely leave our facility in 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the recovery room, having visited the restroom, sipping a soda, and being dressed! This is the rule, rather than the exception.

If your board-certified plastic surgeon works at a hospital, an anesthesiologist (MD who practices anesthesia) may supervise the anesthesia; ask if he or she will be present for the entire operation, or if your anesthetic will be actually delivered by a CRNA. Also ask what type of anesthesia is going to be used, as most hospitals and many outpatient surgical centers use inhalation anesthetics (gas) rather than IV general anesthetic exclusively--gas is safe, but substantially cheaper. Unfortunately, gas also causes nausea and vomiting in as many as 25-30% of patients, causing longer recovery room stays, and occasionally requiring unplanned overnight admission, or at least a more uncomfortable recovery with a higher risk for bleeding.

You can see for yourself which I believe is better, but ultimately, you are best advised to ask these questions of your plastic surgeon and your anesthesia provider!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Time to wake up from anesthesia after a mommy makeover


Patients usually wake up from breast and abdominal surgery within a few minutes of the end of the case.

Modern outpatient anesthetics are very different from older techniques.  Quick emergence is the rule.  Pain pumps postoperatively reduce the amount of narcotics that tend to make patients sleepy and feel drugged.

Patients can help with their recovery by not drinking the night before surgery, by hydrating up until the time they need to be NPO, and by informing themselves thoroughly of what to expect after surgery.

We recommend in all mommy makeover patients to spend one or two nights in a postsurgical aftercare facility, both for their comfort and their safety.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Waking up from anesthesia

If you are in an accredited facility being cared for by qualified MD's and nurses, anesthesia is very safe and the recovery is relatively quick and predictable. Most patients are awake enough to converse and start drinking something within 2 hours after the procedure. There are of course individual differences based upon your anatomy and physiology.

Best of luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Most Patients Wake from Anesthesia Easily

Anesthesia administered by a board certified anesthesiologist in a certified/regulated facility is safe and well tolerated by most patients. Modern anesthetic techniques using the latest medications allow patients to wake quickly and regain clear thinking in a short period of time. Most patients will stay in the recovery area for 30 – 60 minutes and then spend a few minutes longer in a step-down area until their thinking clears. For some patients these times will be a little longer while for others it will be shorter. Time is not the important factor but the health and stability of the patient is. You’ll be monitored throughout the recovery process just as you were during surgery to ensure that everything is progressing well. When the anesthesiologist determines that it is safe, you can be discharged from the recovery area.

Be aware that anytime that you have general anesthesia, you may not drive and should not make important decisions within 24 hours of the anesthesia. It is also important, if the procedure is performed as an outpatient, that an adult spend the night with you so that if there are any issues, someone is available to make a phone call for help. Although this circumstance is exceedingly rare, it is a matter of prudent precaution and safety.

Alexander G. Nein, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Anesthesia Used During a Mommy Makeover- An MD Anesthesiologist can be by your bedside at all times thoughout surgery

You should wake up almost immediately following surgery whether general anesthesia or MACS anesthesia has been administered. Intra -operative pain control, with the use of Exparel and / or pain pumps greatly reduces post -operative pain.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

One hour anesthesia recovery

Most patients are ready for discharge from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at one hour after a mommy makeover.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Wake Up from General Anesthesia

Most patients wake up after several minutes and are taken to the recovery room. I typically spend about an hour or more in the recovery room and then head home after their surgery.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Anesthesia for Mommy Makeover surgery

Mommy makeover surgery can take several hours since there are often multiple procedures which need to be completed. A breast lift and or breast augmentation along with an abdominoplasty with liposuction are usually required to improve contour after pregnancy and breast feeding. I perform these operations under general anesthesia with a board certified anesthesiologist to maximize safety. In qualified hands patients wake up soon after the procedure has been completed and are fully aware in the recovery room. Depending on their unique needs some patients will stay overnight in a recovery facility and others may go home.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Shortly after your surgery

You'll wake up in the OR before you enter recovery. That means you'll only be out for the time the actual surgery is going on, plus a few minutes after that. Your surgeon and anesthetist will be there for the whole time and for a bit after that to make sure you're okay.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.