When you go to surgery the last thing you want to happen is that you will wake up during the case and experience the pain of the procedure. Fortunately, this is now an uncommon occurrence. In the young days of anesthesia, the level of anesthetic was difficult to control and it was not uncommon to have this occurrence. As methods improved the anesthetics became much more reliable and a patient’s level of consciousness was easier to control. In addition, there are now tools commonly used to monitor the effectiveness of anesthesia.
Despite these improvements, awareness during surgery can still occur. This is most likely if you are having surgery under emergency circumstances or if there is a prior history of recall. Remember also that if you are having a surgery with a regional technique you will not be fully asleep but will receive medications to keep you sedated. It is likely you will remember something of the case. If you have concerns, please discuss these with your anesthesia provider.