Anesthesia Awareness?

Honestly I'm very scared about this topic. I'am planning on getting breast implants & I heard the surgery takes about 1 hour and a half. What if I wake up during the surgery? That is very scary... And then again, what if I DONT wake up after the surgery which that one I'm not to concerned about honestly cause I should wake u right ? But the waking up during the surgery is bizarre. Can some one please tell me the People at risk of waking up during surgery?! Cause I don't want to be one of them!

Doctor Answers 11


If you are undergoing general anesthesia with an anesthesiologist, the chance of waking up during the surgery is quite remote.  You should discuss your concerns with your surgeon and the anesthesiologist ahead of time.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Anesthesia Awareness

In 30+ years we have not seen a case. My advice for you would be to convince yourself that everything is going to go smoothly and have a positive attitude rather than being anxious. The likelihood is you'll find that the surgery felt like it was essentially over in what seemed like moments for you and you'll be happy with the result.

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


My approach to avoiding anesthesia awareness is to avoid general anesthesia. Our patients undergo Twilight sedation so that they are breathing on their own and in a dream state. We use versed which causes amnesia. All of this avoids the worry of a patient waking up from general anesthesia with a tube down their throat and panicking.

Waking up during surgery

I would definitely relay your concerns to your plastic surgeon and your anesthesiologist.  Although this has been reported, it is very uncommon for this to be the case.

Anesthesia awareness

can be managed effectively if you let your anesthetist/anesthesiologist know beforehand so they have a heightened awareness to keep you 'deep' and there are also some methods that can be utilized to provide some objective evidence that you are 'deep enough'.  What you fear is a very very rare issue and by mentioning it to your providers, they should have the extra attention needed to prevent you from experiencing that.  And you will wake up...

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Anesthesia Awareness

Anesthesia Awareness is very rare, some think it does not exist at all. In over twenty years of doing breast augmentation surgery I have not seen a case. I did have one patient who gave a pretty good history of anesthesia awareness with previous surgery. For the surgery I did with her, the anesthesiologist noticed that she did require more medicine than what would be expected for her size. So she was given a little extra medicine during her breast augmentation procedure. For that surgery she had no recall.

I think as long as you have a good anesthesiologist, it should not be an issue. The medicine we use for breast augmentation is not the type that can leave you awake and unable to move. If you are getting light, it should be noticeable before you are awake enough to be aware. Let you surgeon and anesthesiologist that this is a concern for you, and it will make them more vigilant and you more comfortable. 

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Anesthesia Awareness

This is more common in cases where the patient has more medical issues and can't tolerate the anesthetic as well. It is really pretty uncommon. Sometimes what you think of as anesthesia awareness is actually just that you remember waking up in the OR, which is actually a good thing. Anesthesia should last just for the actual surgery and not for the time the staff is cleaning up after surgery. Talk to your surgeon. If you are getting a board certified anesthesiologist you are getting the best.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Anesthesia Awareness?

I guess the ultimate answer would depend on the quality of the anesthesia. We have been using general anesthesia for breast augments since 1970 and have never had a patient tell us they were aware of anything during the surgery. We use only board certified MD anesthesiologists. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


This should never happen. We have never had a single incidence in 17 years using Board certified anesthesiologist under full General anesthesia 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Anesthesia Awareness?

Although your concerns are understandable, the likelihood that you will have any “anesthesia awareness” is extremely small, assuming you are selecting your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist carefully.  Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully; you will find that everything else, including anesthesia provider, will “follow” this selection, and that you should have a pleasant anesthesia experience. Best wishes.

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.