Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can I be asleep for my surgery?"
I'm preparing to schedule an oral surgery for an old tooth that needs to be removed, and I'm really curious about the options that I have with respect to anesthesia. The procedure is only supposed to last about an hour, but I can only imagine the tools that are going to be used to remove whatever is in the way, and I would rather be sleeping if at all possible. I was sitting down and talking with my best friend about the surgery because she's recently undergone her own procedure and was quite satisfied with the results and with her surgeon. She said that I could be put to sleep and I wouldn't remember a thing about the surgery.
This is certainly a possibility for many types of surgeries and for many procedures that need to be performed, but there is significant variability that goes into the decision of how best to treat each patient. That is why it is important to discuss this with your doctor. Obviously, the primary job of your surgeon is to help you undergo the most comfortable surgery in the safest way with the best long term results. He or she will be able to speak with you about your risks for undergoing anesthesia. For example, there are some people who are better served with local anesthesia (ie, not fully asleep) due to other medical conditions that make it less safe for them to be under heavier levels of sedation. In others, the lack of motion during surgery actually makes it safer for he or she to be asleep so the surgeon can operate in the most delicate fashion. As you can see, just these details already provide for a broad spectrum of possibilities. Fortunately, most surgeons will be able to listen to your concerns and help you to have what you are looking for. This communication is invaluable, and may require some effort to find the appropriate surgeon. Please speak with your surgeon about your questions.
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