How safe is going under General Anesthesia, and what kind of tests are done pre-op to avoid complications?

This may sound ridiculous, but I have always been a 'light-weight' when it comes to anything - alcohol, anti-depressants and drugs, even caffeine - a small 'normal' dose of these affects me a lot. I'm scared than when going under anesthetic that it will just knock me out and I might not wake up. I have never been under anesthetic before. - I'm going to having a rhinoplasty with a sliding genioplasty - I'm 19 years old, 5'3 and 77lbs

Doctor Answers 7

Preparing For Surgery

Before preparing for surgery, it is important to discuss your health with your primary care physician and review with your board-certified plastic surgeon during your consultation. General anesthesia is very safe and is applied based on your body’s needs. If you have any specific concerns, be sure to address this with your plastic surgeon. It is important you feel confident with your surgeon and their team. By planning for your procedure, you will feel at ease and comfortable.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is considered to be safe as long as you are under the care of a board certified anesthesiologist.  However, your concerns are understandable as there are always risks to everything.  Still, to give you a perspective, the chances of not waking up after general anesthesia is lower than getting into a car accident.  Good luck!

Sunny Park, MD, MPH
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Safety of general anesthesia

 In our practice, patient's are placed asleep under general anesthesia by Board certified physician anesthesiologist in a licensed and certified outpatient surgery center for patient safety and comfort. General anesthesia is very safe today.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews


Dear Sofia97, General anesthesia is very safe when provided by an anesthesia provider either an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist. A patients weight and height is indicated for the amount of anesthesia that is used to provide proper sedation. The anesthesiologist has expertise in knowing how much medication to give to a patient. When you speak with the anesthesiologist and review your history this is all taken into consideration for the anesthesia provided. Patients who drink alcohol frequently or smoke marijuana will have a higher tolerance to the anesthetic and it metabolizes quicker. Patients who do not engage in these activities and have low tolerance to medications, alcohol, etc are even easier to put to sleep and the medications used in my practice are very short acting medications so the patients wake up and feel very comfortable and alert after their procedures. At the patients pre-operative appointment there are requested labs and diagnostic tests like EKG depending on the patients age and health issues. Once these results are reviewed by the anesthesiologist then the patient is given clearance or they are referred for further tests if necessary. Make sure your surgery is performed in a fully accredited operating facility to ensure your safety. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews


Thank you for the question and if in good health anesthesia is safer then getting in your car and driving to the surgery center!

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

How Safe is General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is safe when provided by a licensed well-trained provider in an approved operating facility especially when the patient is a health individual like yourself for an elective non-emerency  operation.  The anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will administer less medication in a "light weight" like yourself to achieve the proper level of sedation.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews


Thank you for your question. General anesthesia has a very low probability of those negative affects. Please discuss your concerns with your board certified facial plastic surgeon to ensure the anesthesiologist follows their direction.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 117 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.