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Concerns of Anesthesia

common concerns of anesthesiaIn all of my years of plastic surgery consulting, I have heard just about every concern that prospective patients have. Potential outcome, financial concerns, and time off from work are all extremely common. If I had to pick the most common fear, however, I would say that it is the fear of anesthesia.  Whether it is a patient who has never undergone surgery and has no idea what to expect, or an “experienced” patient who has been put to sleep many times, the apprehension is almost always the same.

“I am not afraid of the pain. I am not afraid of the surgery itself. I am afraid I won’t wake up.”

I think the underlying fear we all have is the fear of letting go and the fear of the unknown. This is completely normal! In fact, it seems as though when I tell a patient that it is the most common concern I hear, they feel immediately relieved.

Anesthesia is definitely a strange world. I have had surgery myself at least four times. I have been in this business for over 20 years and I still get scared.

The bottom line is: when done in a proper setting, by a board certified, properly trained anesthesiologist, general anesthesia is very safe. Certainly, there are risks like anything else, but the key is making sure to ask the right questions during the consultation period.

*What type of facility will I be in?

*Is it performed by a doctor or a nurse anesthetist?

*Am I close to a hospital?

*Has this plastic surgeon ever experienced complications with anesthesia during any of his or her surgeries?

If the doctor and his staff can confidently address these questions, then the patient should be able to rest easy and glide through the procedure without too much anxiety.

After surgery, it is common to experience some side effects. Patients need to be aware that it may take a while for them to feel “normal” again.  The most common side effect is nausea, which can be treated with medication.  Emotional side effects are also a part of the healing process.  Following a major surgery, with a lot of major drugs it is not uncommon for a patient to feel depressed or emotional.   Most of these issues subside within a few days to a week, depending on the person.

More information about anesthesia, and the group of board certified anesthesiologists we use for our procedures can be obtained at


Dr. Pollack would be pleased to help you determine the procedure that will best meet your needs. During a consultation at his La Jolla location, Dr. Pollack will assess your health history, your area(s) of concern, and your desires for the procedure to ensure you will be satisfied with your results.

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4510 Executive Drive Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92121