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What is it like if you wake up during surgery?

You have a lot of concerns when you go in for surgery, and you want to know that your medical team is going to do an excellent job to protect your health. One concern that people often have is that they’re going to wake up during the procedure.

This does happen, and some reports say that it can happen in “one or two” out of every 1,000 surgical procedures. This may not sound like a lot, but 1 out of 500 is quite a bit when you consider that there are thousands of surgical procedures every day.

If that does happen to you, what should you expect? What will it be like?

Regaining consciousness during surgery

The truth is that it can be a bit different from one person to another. Some people regain full consciousness and are aware of what’s happening. Others just experience vague sights or sounds, or they may even mistake dreams for consciousness.

In some cases, people talk about feeling pressure and feeling the surgical team working, but they’re not in pain. But there are certainly other cases when people have experienced pain or talked about very traumatic experiences. Some even wind up with symptoms like post-traumatic stress disorder, where they feel nervous when lying down because it brings them back to what occurred. This sometimes happens for those who are still paralyzed from the medications they’ve been given, even though they are aware of what’s going on.

What should happen?

The medical team should be closely monitoring you to see if you are gaining any level of awareness during surgery. They can often see signs of this before you are even aware of it yourself, and they could administer more anesthesia so that you are unconscious once again. In the best case, they’ll manage this so that you never even know that it was an issue.

However, if your medical team is negligent or distracted, they may not realize what’s happening to you. This is when things can become very traumatic and you could experience pain or a feeling of panic. It’s certainly not what you expected when you chose this medical team for your procedure.

If something like this has happened to you, be sure you know about all the legal options at your disposal.