TERRIFIED of Waking Up During Surgery, As Well As Needles and Pain. Is This Common During Breast Implant Surgery?

Also How Bad is the pain and how long does it last?

Doctor Answers 3

Waking up during breast implant surgery under general anesthesia is rare and should not be a concern

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Waking up during breast implant surgery under general anesthesia is extremely rare and should not be a concern. If this remains a fear consider asking for a BIS monitor.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Intraoperative awakening can happen rarely, but is usually preventable and you need to discuss with the anesthetist.

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Your concerns about waking up during surgery are not totally without merit.  Sometimes patients do wake up during surgery, and this was the subject of a movie "Awake" about 5 years ago.  How does this happen?  There is an interruption of the delivery of anesthetic while you are paralyzed, so you wake up but cannot signal to anyone that you are awake.  That is obviously something to avoid!  One way to avoid this problem is to use a total IV anesthetic that does not involve paralysis (that's the type I prefer).  This way, even if there is an interruption in delivery of anesthesia, you are not paralyzed.  You would start to move around and everyone would know you are starting to wake up and we give you more anesthetic to prevent you from waking up.  Alternatively, the anesthetist can use a type of brain monitor (BIS) that informs everyone if you are "getting light."  If you are terrified of waking up, you should discuss this concern with your anesthetist to make sure that every precaution is taken so this does not happen to you.  As for how bad the pain is, our surveys revealed an average pain score of 5.9 on a scale of 1 to 10.  A submuscular breast augmentation is a moderately painful procedure and you will need your painkillers for at least several days.  But the psychological gratification is usually big, and helps offset the physical pain.  You can read more about this on my website if you like.  I've attached a link.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Waking up fduring breast surgery

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No one I  have ever treated has woken up during surgery.  The anesthesiologists I work with monitor patients very carefully and keep them very well medicated to avoid this.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.