Would you stay awake on the operating table?

By: Jennifer Pretty Aug 23, 2011
awake during surgery

According to the Daily Mail, the Westbourne Clinic in Birmingham has begun performing elective surgeries using local anesthetic and sedation, instead of a general anesthetic which completely knocks you out.

Aesthetic surgeon Dr. Fazel Fatah has performed abdominoplasty (tummy tucks), liposuction, fat grafting and facelifts, using this technique. 

The patient is a little woozy, but conscious and feels no pain. They can also hold conversation throughout the entire surgery and are able to return home just an hour after the surgery is completed.  Because of this, the procedures have been dubbed 'the lunchtime boob job'.

 “It is the way forward for many procedures,” he says. '”Operations on the knee or other joints, nose jobs and even hernia repairs could be carried out under a local.”

You may be thinking why in the world would anyone do this?

Well, general anesthesia does carry risks. The mild symptoms consisting of nausea and vomiting, which occur in over thirty percent of patients. Often these symptoms are experienced right after surgery, but for many, can last for up to a day.

The more serious complications, which occur in less than one case per 10,000, include permanent nerve damage causing numbness or paralysis, serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and even more rarely, death.

Although there are serious risks involved with general anesthesia, I could not imagine being awake for surgery.

I’m the type of person that always has to turn away during any icky surgery scene on television. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to see anyone’s blood and guts, especially my own. Not to mention if anything went wrong. I’d much rather be far away in “la-la land” than be conscious through the ordeal.  The prospect of surgery is nerve-racking enough. I can’t imagine knowing you will be awake and listening to the entire procedure. At least with general anesthesia you know you’ll go for a quick nap, wake up and it will all be over.

What do you think? Would you ever consider being awake for surgery?


Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!


Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!