Rhinoplasty - scared of getting put to sleep, what other options other than general anaesthesia?

I am awaiting to go in to get my nose fixed after a trauma to the nose this includes resetting the nasal bones and possibly fixing a deviated septum on the run up to this I am very nervous and have bad anxiety of going under general anesthetic as I have never being under before I smoke at least 20 cigarettes per day will this be a complication this will be done in a hospital setting is there any other way of getting this done without being put to sleep or is this down to the surgeons choice

Doctor Answers 8

Your safe

The best option is to have general anesthesia, which is very safe.  Thousands of people/patients go under general anesthesia everyday and nothing happens to them.  Your smoking history is not going to be a problem too.  Speak to the anesthesiologist who will be assigned to you to go over your concerns.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Anesthesia

I think there is no other option for rhinoplasty but general anesthesia.  Local and sedation are never as safe as patients imagine. Besides patients can fell parts of the  surgery.

Luis Pavajeau, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Scared of general anesthesia

I hear all the time from patients that they are more worried about the anesthetic than the surgery. No need for that. General anesthesia in healthy patients is extremely safe these days.  For a rhinoplasty I would not hesitate to go under general anesthesia. This may actually be safer than trying to do it under sedation and local. I have done it that way in the past, but in order to have the deepest level of sedation possible, and thus no pain, you would need an MD anesthesiologist anyway, so you wouldn't save money.  With general, there is more control over your airway and it is safer in the long run.

You do need to quit smoking, however, and do so for 4 weeks before surgery.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty-scared of getting put to sleep what other options other than general anesthesia?

  In our practice, we perform all rhinoplasty and septoplasty procedures under general anesthesia for patient safety and comfort.  It is extremely important to have a controlled airway,  And to prevent blood from going down into the lungs.  Anesthesia today is extremely safe in the hands of a board certified physician anesthesiologist.  It is also important to stop smoking cigarettes for at least 1 month prior to the surgery so that you are not coughing before, during,or after the surgery.  In addition smokers have a higher risk of complications such as skin necrosis and infection.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Afraid of General Anesthesia for Rhinoplasty

As long as your surgery is done in a hospital or accredited outpatient surgery facility the procedure will actually be safer when done using a light general anesthetic. In my clinic I use an MD anesthesiologist.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

General anesthesia & Rhinoplasty

It is much safer to have your rhinoplasty under general anesthesia. There are medications that can be given to help you with your anxiety, but general anesthesia is a must. In terms of your smoking, I strongly recommend that you be completely nicotine free for at least 4-6 weeks prior and post surgery. Smoking can seriously adversely affect your body's ability to heal, causing serious complications. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Rhinoplasty - scared of getting put to sleep,

General anesthesia is the way to go especially for this procedure and your smoking. They will have control of your airway and safety will be maximized. You have more chance of having a serious car accident on the way to the hospital than having a problem with anesthesia. Good luck.

Robert Graper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


Thank you for your question.

It is really in yours and the surgeon’s best interest to have you under general anesthesia for this procedure because rhinoplasty is a very precise surgery and requires the surgeons undivided attention. The last thing you want is the surgeon being disrupted because you are uncomfortable or experiencing pain. If you are under general anesthesia, it is a much safer option and the anesthesiologist monitors you continuously while you are under and if any complications arise they can adjust your medications, breathing, temperature, fluids and blood pressure as needed. This takes it off of the surgeon and his RN’s/technicians so they can completely focus on the procedure itself. In regards to your smoking, you should remain nicotine free for at least 6 weeks pre and post operatively because smoking can increase your risk of infection, necrosis, delayed healing etc. Best of luck.

Best of luck!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.