American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

How to overcome irrational fear of dying from anesthesia or surgery?

I've wanted a nose job for years & finally got the support of my parents who are both doctors. I'm a bit scared of surgery&GA since I've heard stories of people getting cardiac arrest or duying in the OR. I have consultations with 2 board-certified surgeons soon. How can I address my general anesthesia fears and fear of dying to ensure a safe, successful surgery?

Procedure: Rhinoplasty
Location: Hastings on Hudson, NY

Replies 5

Susan Buenaventura
ASPS Surgeon
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I would not recommend undergoing elective surgery until you feel completely comfortable. Remember it is elective!

perhaps seek counseling prior to considering elective surgey.

Jose Luis Valero
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Dear Hopefull1016

You´re right!, There´s two types of fears: Rational and Irrational. Your fear we could say is in between these two. On the first type, because of what you have mentioned, but on the second, because the Rhinoplasty is among the least complication-charged (intra-or post-anesthesia related) of our Plastic Surgeries. Especially under GA. If your desire of having your nose cosmetically enhanced is stronger than your fear, I must recommend you to have one or several sessions with a Certified Annalist or Psychotherapist, for you to work on these issues.

With warmest regards,

Jose L Valero, MD

William Rosenblatt
ASPS Surgeon

As I have communicated with you before, you need help from a psychiatrist or some other counselor before even talking to a plastic surgeon.

Adolfo Sesto
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Hello. You keep having second thoughts and fears, and no one in the world but God himself can know and be sure that you will not dye crossing a street or having a nose job. No one can assure you there will be no complications or bad results. So my best advice is to avoid undergoing surgery. That is a very personal decision.

Rahul Vemula
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for your very important question. Undergoing surgery of any type can be very nerve-racking. It is normal to feel some nervousness prior to any procedure. I always tell my patients that there is no such thing as a minor surgery.

If you feel that you have irrational fears, you may benefit by being seen by psychologist or psychiatrist to help get through this. I agree with my other colleagues, and unless this is dealt with and treated, I would not recommend undergoing any elective surgery.

Going to a board-certified plastic surgeon Will help ensure that your surgery is done in the safest manner possible and the highest standards of safety are adhered to.

In addition, make sure that a board certified anesthesiologist is present for any anesthesia administered and the surgery is performed at a facility that is accredited by your state, Medicare and/or AAAA. All of these things further ensure safety.

Best wishes!


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