Will I Be Okay During Rhinoplasty if I Get Panic Attacks?

I have a Rhinoplasty surgery coming up but I'm very nervous about the anesthesia and the tube in my throat. I have one small problem--when I get nervous, I get short breaths and that scares me. Will I be okay during the procedure?

Doctor Answers 7

No panic attacks while under general anesthesia during rhinoplasty

A panic attack will not occur during the actual surgery itself since you will be under a general anesthesia during the rhinoplasty procedure. It may be a good idea to have some Valium the night before your procedure so you will not be too nervous going into the procedure itself. Anesthesia is very safe with a qualified, board-certified physician anesthesiologist.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Anxiety and surgery

Dear Lala,

As you see from other surgeons, it is relatively common to have anxiety with surgery, and panic attacks are just a very extreme form of anxiety. If you discuss these issues with your surgeon and anesthesiologist, they can help relieve you fears by letting you know exactly what is going to happen. Medications can also help greatly- right after you get your IV, you can receive some strong anxiolysis (Versed), and I'd suggest using Valium after surgery until you are feeling more calm. Discuss these options with your doctors. (Dupont: Better living through chemistry.)


Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Panic attacks and Rhinoplasty

Your are having GENERAL anesthesia. During your surgery the anesthesiologist will monitor your pulse, blood pressure and breathing.

You will not feel the surgery nor have any memories of it. So you have nothing to worry about. If you want to be more calm the night before, ask your surgeon for a sedative.

Remember - anesthesia is the safest medical branch. Its malpractice insurance rates have been coming down yearly as opposed to OB-GYN and neurosurgery.

Hope this answered your question.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

You should make sure you do this asleep.

Our surgical center, like other offices, does this surgery with the patient totally asleep. The patient is talking to me and the next thing they know is that they are in the recovery room. No pain, no awareness of anything except talking to me. Make sure you go to such a facility and an experienced rhinoplasty doctor and you will do fine.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Panic Attacks

You will be fine. You are getting general anesthesia and will not have any pain, anxiety or memory of the event.

To ensure you do not get a panic attack on the morning of surgery, you should ask your physician for some xanax. I routinely have my rhinoplasty and other facial plastic surgery patients take xanax 0.5mg on empty stomach on the morning of surgery. It reduces or eliminates the anxiety, the patient feels relaxed and the blood pressure stays low. That helps me during surgery because the bleeding is reduced and there is less bruising afterwards.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Discuss Your Concern With Both Your Surgeon and The Anesthesiologist

Panic attacks are a common problem. Many patients with panic attacks successfully undergo rhinoplasty without any problems.

However, you should discuss your concerns with both your surgeon and the anesthesiologist several weeks before surgery to make sure that you are both physically and emotionally ready for surgery.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews



If you are having the surgery as a reputable hospital then you should hopefully be in good hands. There is always risk with any surgery but anesthesia these days is much safer than years ago especially as good hospitals.

As far as your nervousness and panick attacks go, you may want to talk to your family doctor and get some valium or xanax to help with your anxiety before the procedure. Check with your doctor and hospital because most hospitals require all the consents to have been signed before a patient is under the influence of anti anxiety medications.

Good luck

Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 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.