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.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews


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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 124 reviews

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