Hey, this is Dr. Rick. We are here to talk about the question of the day. Another common question I often get is "Is it safe to be under anesthesia for an extended period of time?" There are many times when I am doing multiple procedures at the same time, and patients can get really concerned about whether it's okay to be asleep for that long. The real answer to that question lies in what are your medical problems. Older patients who may have more medical problems or even younger patients with more medical problems may not be as safe to go to sleep for as long of a time as they would like to. Older or younger patients who are extremely healthy can be under anesthesia for a very long times, six or eight hours even.

So when you're seen in the office, we don't only just evaluate what you're gonna need surgically, we also look at your health. That's what we do as doctors is we evaluate your health and the safety of anesthesia. What I can tell you is that in general, anesthesia is very safe. There are many people who are asleep for up to six to eight hours and do just fine. We also make sure that we send you to your primary care physician to make sure that your lab values are normal, to make sure that if you do have any kind of a medical problem like diabetes or high blood pressure that those things are well-controlled. We try to maximize your ability to have a good outcome. But in general, anesthesia is very safe today, and it's not very often that I have a problem with someone being asleep for an extended amount of time. So when you come to see me, we will look at your health, we will evaluate you, and we will guide you down the right path, and we will never put you through an operation that we don't think is safe. Have a great day.

Anesthesia Concerns: How Long Is Too Long To be Under?

Dr. Richard Brown explains the safety of anesthesia for multiple procedures.