Call to arrange your consultation: 405-360-9700

What may happen if you wake up during surgery?

Going into surgery can be frightening, so you should feel confident that your surgery team has you in good hands when they administer anesthesia. Most people do not have problems staying unconscious throughout an operation. Unfortunately, in some cases, a patient manages to wake up while still in surgery.

Even if your surgery team finishes the operation successfully, you might suffer serious psychological problems because you were aware of the surgery. Medical News Today describes what may happen if the anesthesia is not strong enough to keep you sedated.

Feeling sensations during surgery

Waking up during an operation can mean different things. You may not have your eyes open but you can hear sounds like the movement of people or medical instruments. If the sedation wears off further, you might become more aware of the procedure happening and may even experience pain.

Awareness of the surgery can be scary enough, but it can become worse if you try to signal the doctors that you are awake but you cannot do so. This is because of muscle relaxants given to you along with the anesthesia. Your inability to move can make you feel trapped and add to the terror of the moment.

The effects of surgery awareness

The experience of waking up during surgery may have varying effects on people. Some patients only have a vague awareness of an operation and do not suffer any problems afterward. However, regaining consciousness during surgery could also generate long-term problems that might include PTSD or anxiety.

Causes of waking up in surgery

If you become aware during an operation, you will likely want to know why the anesthesia was not enough to keep you sedated. It is possible an anesthesiologist committed an error in determining your dosage. A mix of medications may have also diluted the strength of the anesthesia.

Other risk factors include health problems you may suffer from such as heart or lung ailments or depression. Daily ingestion of alcohol may also contribute to making anesthesia less effective. The degree to which your doctor should have known about how your health would affect an anesthesia dose will probably become a factor if you become involved in a medical malpractice suit.