Woke up?!! Why did I wake up during surgery? I woke up during surgery as they were breaking my nose.

Why did I wake up during surgery? I woke up during surgery as they were breaking my nose. Thank God I didn't feel anything. But they quickly finished me up before I could. Why did this happen? . . It's so scary!

Doctor Answers 3

Waking up during rhinoplasty surgery

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 It's important that you have a frank discussion with Your surgeon to determine what type of anesthesia you were given to have conscious awareness. In our practice, we perform all rhinoplasty procedures under general anesthesia by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist for patient safety and comfort. The  rhinoplasty procedure is also performed in a state licensed and Medicare certified outpatient surgery center.

Waking up during surgery

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I am sorry to hear you had such a scary experience, but I am glad you didn't feel anything.  Breaking the nasal bones is one of the most stimulating parts of the procedure, as you have experienced, and your level of anesthesia may have been deep enough for the other parts of the rhinoplasty but in retrospect was lighter than you needed for that level of stimulation.  Typically, numbing medication is also injected to reduce the stimulation and minimize bleeding, which may be why you didn't feel anything.  Share your experience with your surgeon.  I hope your recovery is going well.

All my best!
Dr. Elizabeth

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."


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Dear Shekira26, It sounds like you had your procedure performed with IV sedation instead of general anesthesia. Personally, I perform all of my rhinoplasty procedures under general anesthesia with a board certified anesthesiologist to ensure patient safety and comfort. Some surgeons who do not have fully accredited facilities cannot legally operate with general anesthesia so they choose local IV sedation or they simply prefer it and patients can wake up during their procedures. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 213 reviews

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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.