Is A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Safe for Breast Augmentation?

The board certified plastic surgeon that I am considering having perform my breast augmentation uses a CRNA for general anesthesia in a AAAASF accredited facility. This surgeon uses this particular CRNA because he thinks he is really good. He said that if I preferred he could use a board certified anesthesiologist but I'd like him to use someone he's worked with before. Is a CRNA just as safe as a board certified anesthesiologist? I live in the state of California. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Anesthesiologist versus CRNA for Cosmetic Surgery Procedure

Hello and thank you for the question.

CRNAs are perfectly capable of performing anesthesia for aesthetic surgical cases. As with any profession, there are exceptional CRNAs and bad ones, just as there are very adequate anesthiologists and subpar ones. You may want to run your concerns by your plastic surgeon and perhaps ask to meet the CRNA prior to the procedure to ask questions/voice concerns/etc.


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

CRNA is definitely safe for breast augmentation

A CRNA is definitly qualified to perform your anesthesia.  I have used CRNAs for many years and have been very comfortable with them. 

Randy Proffitt, MD
Mobile Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

CRNA versus anesthesiologist

CRNA and and anesthesiologist are both very good at what they do. As always though I would recommend meeting your CRNA or anesthesiologist to make sure you are comfortable with either. In most hospitals the CRNA is the primary one taking care of you.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 267 reviews

CRNA or MD (nurse anesthetist versus anesthesiologist) for aesthetic plastic cosmetic surgery

I understand that it is difficult fot you to assess the skills of the anesthesia provider whether MD or CRNA and to some degree you must rely on the recommendation of the surgeon. You may want to meet with the provider prior to surgery to allay your fears or verify either's credentials through the department of professional regulation.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Anesthesiologists aor CRNA

A CRNA is a nurse who has experience in anesthesia.  They are very qualified to do office based procedures.  An anesthesiologist is an MD who is more qualified to do anesthesia.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Is a nurse anesthetist safe for my breast augmentation surgery?

The simple answer is that it really depends upon their training, oversight, and their experience.  A title does not assure this.  I would recommend asking them how long they have been practicing and how long they have worked with your surgeon.  These questions can help you better understand how comfortably the two may potentially work together during your surgery.

That being said, I have worked with both an MD and a Nurse anesthetist and have found that it really does come down to their overall background, etc. 

I hope that helps!

CRNA and breast augmentation

Yes most CRNAs are very good at what they do and if your surgeon feels comfortable with a specific one then he is likely very competent.  However, surgeon comfort should not be the only factor used in deciding who does your anesthesia.  YOUR comfort is vitally important as well, after all you are the one having surgery.  Almost all plastic surgeons have at least one anesthesiologist that they use regularly.  If you prefer to have an anesthesiologist then insist on one.  You will be happier in the end.

Delio Ortegon, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Nurse Anesthetist or Anesthiologist

There are good and bad CRNAs and anesthesiologists.  If your plastic surgeon operates in an AAAASF-accredited facility and is comfortable working with a particular CRNA, you are probably safe in having in having him/her perform your anesthesia.  I personally know 25-30 CRNAs whom I would be comfortable giving me or my family members anesthesia.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.