Ask a doctor

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


Doctor Answers 48

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 181 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 106 reviews

Waking up after surgery

A mommy makeover will last several hours.  Despite that it will feel like a blink of an eye to you.  General anaesthesia is extremely safe and the recovery is usually quite fast. It should not take more than a few minutes to wake up.  There will be a period of time that you are awake, answering questions and seemingly your normal self, but you may not remember everything.  After 30 minutes or so that will pass.

As there is a spectrum of quality in plastic surgeons, so too is the case with anaesthesiologists.  It is not to say that they are not all safe, but some can wake patients so gently that there is rarely any pain or nausea.  Fortunately, it is a sought after position which gives our office the ability to choose who we think will provide our patients the best care.  If you have any concerns speak to your surgeon.

Dr Rodger Shortt
Oakville Plastic Surgeon
Ass't Clin Professor &
Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training,
McMaster University 

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Anesthesia recovery time

Most patients are awake and alert within an hour after surgery and can usually be discharged by 2 hours.  This can be longer if they need post operative narcotics in the recovery area which can delay awakening and discharge.  The type of anesthesia given can also affect wakeup i.e..inhalation gases vs narcotics.  Discuss with your surgeon and anesthesiologist to determine what anesthesia method they use to get a better idea.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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

Healthy patients usually wake up within 5-10 minutes but may be groggy for up to 2 hours. The effects of anaesthesia can last for 48 hours after surgery though so it is not recommended to drive or do any other major activities for 2 days after.

Depends on the patient and anesthesiologist

Hello, each patient reacts different to the anesthesia, and not all anesthesiologist use the same drugs during the anesthesia. That means that depending on many factors id say it may take between 5-15 mins aproximately, sometimes it may take a bit more. Hope my answer helped you.

Luis Tactuk Simo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Waking up from surgery will vary

 The wake-up time after mommy make over is dependent on a number of different factors: These include length of surgery, type of anesthetic, use of intra-operative numbing medicine, the anesthesiologist and a patient's individual physiology.
 Typically longer surgeries require longer recoveries.  The more medicine that is given in the course of an operation the longer it may take for the body to process it and neutralize it to the point where patient wakes up.  What type of anesthetic used will greatly influence how long it takes to wake up after surgery.  There are IV and gas anesthetic agents, there are long-acting and short-acting agents, and there are how all these medicines are used together.  In the ideal situation once the anesthetic agent is turned off within 5-10 minutes of patient should be awake enough to be transferred to the recovery area and hopefully in 30-45 minutes be ready to be discharged.    But with longer surgical procedures, variations from patient to patient and anesthetic provider to provide, recovery will very greatly.
 Typically after my mommy make over procedures I tell patients to expect to be in recovery for about 1 hour.    

John Mancoll, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

You should wake up after final dressings are applied

Your plastic surgeon will coordinate with your anesthesiologist so that anesthesia is gradually lightened, allowing you to wake up fairly quickly after surgery is completed and your final dressings are placed. After waking up, you may feel groggy, sleepy or confused at first. For this reason, you should plan on staying in the recovery room for about an hour before you have someone drive you home. The exact time spent in immediate recovery will vary depending on the anesthesia technique that was used and your body’s response to that anesthesia. Some surgeons may have you stay overnight, although this is becoming a less common practice.

Waking up after a mommy makeover

Awakening from general anesthesia after a cosmetic tummy tuck and breast augmentation/lift procedure is usually very quick and smooth. Typically anesthesia providers are able to to lighten sedatives to allow for a very gradual and uneventful awakening and patients are typically awake prior to arriving in the recovery room. With the use of local anesthetic agents, pain control is typically excellent and the process is very comfortable for patients.

Rachel Streu, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.