Find a Doctor
Breast Augmentation Choices Include Being Asleep or Awake for Surgery

Breast Augmentation Choices Include Being Asleep or Awake for Surgery


Once a woman has decided to have breast augmentation surgery, there are some important decisions to be made in consultation with her plastic surgeon. Among them is whether she wants to be asleep or awake during the procedure. The choice depends on the associated risks and benefits for each individual.

General anesthesia is commonly used for most invasive surgeries. It renders the patient fully unconscious. To the patient, it seems that she fell asleep one moment and awoke the next, with the surgery completed and no memory of the experience.

The most common alternative to general anesthesia is a combination of sedation and local anesthesia. This method induces a state of reduced consciousness, so that the patient is only dimly aware of her surroundings and what's being done to her. In this very relaxed state, she may drift off to sleep, although she will not be fully unconscious. A local anesthetic injection is used to numb the surgical site.

General anesthesia is the best way to render a patient unaffected by surgery, but it also entails more risk and causes more side effects. Among these are breathing problems, including choking; allergic reactions; elevated blood pressure or heart rate; complications caused by anesthetic equipment, including injuries to teeth and lips; and nausea and vomiting.

With sedation and local anesthesia, the side effects are fewer. As with general anesthesia, the patient may experience nausea and vomiting. There is also a chance of a headache and a sort of hangover after surgery. Since there is some level of awareness, some patients may be left with unpleasant memories of surgery.

Your plastic surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of each anesthesia method and help you decide which is most appropriate for your procedure.

Want More Information?

Contact a Doctor Near You.