I'm very worried I might have some brain damage from anesthesia.

I'm 25 male, on 5/26 I had a rhinoplasty and otoplasty on both ears. Surgery lasted just over 6 hours. Anesthetic used was gaseous isoflurane. Took me 2 hours to wake up and when I did I felt I could hardly breath. I was taken by a nurse I'd paid for to watch me overnight. I felt like I was half asleep pretty much for 3 days. Since then I've gradually gotten better but it's now ben 1.5 months and I still feel mentally impaired. Can't read as fast, overall I feel less alert. Should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 2

I'm very worried I might have some brain damage from anesthesia.

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Dear endravic
Although there is some evidence in the anesthesia literature that repeated anesthesia in the very young and the very old can impact the brain in the intermediate/short term (6 months), there is little to no evidence that it would impact someone in their twenties. In general anesthesia is very safe. I think it would be to your benefit to follow up with your surgeon and ask him to address your specific concerns directly. In short, you do not need to worry.


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Thank you for your question. It is important that your surgical team be supportive of the way you feel after surgery. There is a risk with all surgeries, however, modern anesthesia is exceedingly safe with the risk of a serious unfavorable occurrence falling in the 1 in 800,000-1,200,000 range, which means anesthesia is safely administered in greater than 99.99% of cases according to recent studies. If you feel like you have prolonged after effects, then I suggest that you make an appointment with the facial plastic surgeon who performed your surgery.
Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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