Can I Go Under General Anesthesia After Hitting Head Hard 2 Weeks Prior to Surgery?

I hit the back of my head hard on Saturday. Today is Thursday. I saw a doc on Monday for pre-op clearance. She checked me out, asked questions, and never diagnosed it as a concussion. I am light sensitive and I can't stay on electronic devices for very long before I just have to look away. I'm trying to rest and rest as much as possible and each day I get a bit better. I feel almost back to normal today. Is this something I should report to my surgical team? Surgery for MM is Feb 22nd. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 13

Recovering from head injury

Prior to undergoing any type of elective surgery it is very important to be in the best health possible. Although you have not been formally diagnosed with a concussion your symptoms such as light sensitivity suggest that you are still recovering from your injury and probable concussion. You should report this to your surgeon immediately and undergo a thorough neurological examination to make sure there are no residual ill effects from your head injury that would affect your upcoming surgery. Good luck

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Neurological Status & General Anesthesia

            Although your symptoms are definitely improving, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, its not only appropriate that you discuss your head injury with your surgical team, but it’s also appropriate that you undergo a neurological evaluation as well.

             Your symptoms could indicate more severe intracranial pathology, which could be adversely impacted by hemodynamic changes that can occur during anesthesia. In addition, deterioration in neurological status wouldn’t be recognized while under general anesthesia.

            It’s important to remember that this is elective surgery. Safety should be everyone’s first priority. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

General Anesthesia following Head Trauma

Prior to undergoing general anesthesia even a few weeks following blunt head trauma, I would advise a thorough evaluation for any lingering effects from the hit.  Light sensitivity, headaches, nausea, dizziness, can indicate effects of a concussion.  Also, there is a slight chance of a delayed bleed from an injured blood vessel inside the skull.  Although this is unlikely, unless your surgery is really urgent, it is better to be safe than sorry

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mommy Makeover and Head Injury

   Closed head injury if associated with loss of consciousness or other neurological symptoms should be evaluated.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Pre Operative Head Trauma

Thank you for the question. The fact that you are still symptomatic would suggest that your surgery should be postponed. Your clearance should be given by a Board Certified Neurologist and you should feel 100%. This is an elective procedure and there is no reason to increase your risks. It is always better to avoid than to treat when possible.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Surgery after head injury

If in doubt, wait.  Although rare, significant complications can occur following elective procedures.  Make sure you have had a thorough evaluation by a board certified neurologist and feel like you are back to 100% before undergoing surgery.  Be safe, not sorry.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

New medical issue prior to surgery

First, you should definitely tell your surgeon immediately. Second, if you havent seen a neurologist, you should. It may be best to postpone your surgery for a short while just to make sure all is good before having general anesthesia. Its much better to reschedule than to risk more problems.

Paul Wigoda, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


This is elective surgery and everything should be maximized prior to the procedure. Maybe another neurology evaluation is necessary

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Surgery after head injury

If you are having any symptoms after a head injury, you should be evaluated by a neurologist.

You should definitely not undergo surgery until you have been cleared by your neurologist.

This is elective surgery; everything must be in order before proceeding.

That is one very good way of avoiding complications.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Consult a Neurologist

Yes you should consult with your surgeon and consider an exam by a neurologist to evaluate for the light sensitivity and rule out DAI (diffuse axonal injury)  to ensure that you are safe to undergo your elective surgery.


Good luck!

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.