Stroke Under Anethesia. Can I Go Under Again?

I had twins 6 weeks early due to pre eclampsia in 2008. Once the kids were born, they took me off birth control and put me on blood pressure meds.Once they made that switch, I was suffering from debilitating migraines that were accommodated by visual auras. I had to have a mass removed from my lung in 2009 and while I was under anesthesia I had a stroke in my occipital lobe. I have not recovered 100% of my vision, and never will. Id like to get a tummy tuck and breast reduction. Can I go under?

Doctor Answers 8

Stroke before surgery

Having a stroke from a prior anesthesia episode must have been a scary experience. You might be safe to have surgery or you might not. This is going to require your neurologist, primary care physician, anesthesiologist and plastic surgeon to come up with a plan of care. Whether they will be able to mitigate the risks of another neurologic event, I’m unsure.


Good luck and thank you for the question.


Anire Okpaku MD FACS


Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Risk to Benefit Ratio

Your medical history is extremely complicated and for this reason elective cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be considered until the situation is clarified.  This requires input from your primary care physician, neurologist, and anesthesiologist.  It’s important that safety be everyone’s first priority.    It’s therefore important to carefully consider the risk benefit ratio before proceeding with cosmetic surgery.  In some cases the risks, don’t justify the benefits of cosmetic surgery.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Determining medical risks prior to elective surgery

Medical clearance will be the key to whether or not it is safe for you to have a general anesthetic for any elective procedures including cosmetic surgery.  In some instances the risks just do not justify the benefits.  Once all of the facts are out on the table a reasonable decision can be made to determine if you should proceed.  Best wishes.  DR. Z

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Stroke under anesthesia

I am sorry to hear of your medical issues over the last 5 years.   I must say you are brave to consider cosmetic enhancement surgery after this.  

It is important to consider that cosmetic surgery is not a medically necessary procedure and the risk to rewards should be evaluated appropriately.      

I would also ask that you undergo evaluation by your neurologist and a board certified plastic surgeon to carefully evaluate if you are a candidate for a procedure and if so, when the appropriate time might be.

I wish you all the best!!


Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Anesthesia for cosmetic surgery

This is a tough situation.  As long as you're cleared by the appropriate physicans you should be okay.  However, since you already had one stroke you may have another and it may not be in your best interest to risk it for cosmetic surgery.

Anesthesia after major medical problems

Wow, that's a lot of stuff you had to go through. While it sounds like you deserve to do something good for yourself you need to be safe. I think you need to discuss your health issues with both your Internist and Neurologist to get "cleared". I would do this before you even go for a consultation with a Plastic surgeon.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Surgery After Stroke

A stroke risk assessment would be helpful for you to decide whether elective surgery would be possible. 

A Neurologist could review your prior hospitalization and possibly do some additional testing.  With this information, the doctor could let you know whether cosmetic surgery is in your future. 

Melissa Johnson, MD
Springfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Stroke under anesthesia

A plastic surgeon may be the last doctor to ask about the risks of a recurrent stroke in this setting. 

Begin with your primary physician and/or your neurologist. Whoever diagnosed your stroke probably did some testing which may have found the underlying cause, and that information would be helpful in determining future risk.

When you are ready to go, consider getting a pre-op anesthesia consult. Ultimately, the anesthesiologist will be responsible for the safety decision to go ahead with surgery. GIven your history, allowing that doctor a chance to evaluate you more than moments before surgery will minimize the chances of a delay.

Thanks for your and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.