Terrified of anesthesia. Any suggestions?

I postponed by procedure the night before even after talking with the anesthesiologist . He told me I was class A perfect patient for the surgery and that my breast aug would take about 45 min to an hour and that I would be totally fine. I'm an athlete and fit my blood work came back great yet I still freaked out. I even looked into being awake. I need some advice and some help I really really want this surgery. Maybe I over researched and put doubt in me. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 16


do your best to relax about general anesthesia. It's the safest way to proceed any other techniques is simply marketing. 

Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Avoid Anesthesia

I have been performing breast Augmentation awake, under local anesthesia for 6 years hundreds of patients.  Check out the link below I have a video on u-tube showing the surgery.  So no worries and you do not have to go under.  I would be Happy to discuss it further with you.Sincerely, Dr Gartner

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 140 reviews


You feelings are perfectly normal.  I would trust your surgeon and anesthesia provider.  Discuss further with your board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Best wishes! Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Urmen Desai, MD, MPH, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 234 reviews

Anesthesia concerns

I tell all of my patients that it is normal to be nervous about surgery.  However, the risks with modern general anesthesia are extremely low, especially in a young and healthy patient.  Unfortunately, the media has sensationalized stories about anesthesia complications but they are very rare.  I would recommend discussing the issue with your surgeon again.

Brian A. Pinsky, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


Thank you for sharing your question. Anesthesia is probably the one thing every patient is concerned about proper to surgery. It's normal. There are so many horror stories online it is hard not to be afraid. However, you should be aware that general anesthesia is completely safe. If you have your surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon, you will be in good hands with him/her as well as with the anesthesiologist. You should voice your concerns to your surgeon and make sure he/she makes you are comfortable. Don't stress. Have a great surgery!! Regards,

Omar Fouda Neel, MD, FRCSC, FACS
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. If you are healthy and have found a qualified board certified plastic surgeon who you trust, then the risk of anesthesia is extremely low. 

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews


Thank you for your question.This is completely normal to feel before your surgery. Fear, anxiety, nerves.. they all start to kick in. You chose your surgeon because you obviously feel comfortable with them and trust them, that is how they feel about their anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is actually quite safe 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. Try to relax and think positive! I hope this helps.
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 79 reviews

Worried about anesthesia

Thank you for your questions and I do appreciate your concerns.  Two options for anesthesia would be twilight anesthesia or general.  I have used twilight anesthesia for breast augmentation but have since evolved to utilizing general anesthesia.  I feel that this form of anesthesia is more controllable and predictable.  Best to voice your concerns with your surgeon to address your specific concerns.  I wish you good luck.

Anesthesia fears

This is quite common despite the safety of anesthesia. Only you can get yourself past this hurdle. You know that you are in the lowest risk class and that the fear is unsupported by facts. You may need to speak with a psychologist who can provide cognitive therapy to address the fear if you want the surgery that much. Best wishes.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Concerned - Yes Worried - Absolutely Not

Anesthesia is absolutely safe.  While nothing is 100% after having witnessed tens of thousands of anesthetics, I have never seen one major complication (not counting individuals who are elderly with multiple medical issues (high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, individuals in shock - these individuals are not class I but class V, unlike you.  Anesthesia is the unknown for many people, especially those who have never experienced it.  Make sure that your surgeon is using a Board Certified Anesthesiologist who is active in a local hospital.  In our office, we use only anesthesiologists who are actively practicing in the North Shore (Northwell) System and are not itinerant (that is to say, go from doctor's office to doctor's office).  Best of luck and be sure that if certain criteria are met - you shouldn't have any difficulties.  

Elliot Duboys, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

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.