Will you wake up during surgery?

The idea of going in for major surgery, even when you know it’s the only option that you have, can be intimidating. You know there are risks. You don’t have much experience with it. You know that a mistake could be fatal or that something unexpected could happen to increase the risks. You just want to get it over with and put it behind you.

That’s when you realize that some people have stories of waking up during surgery. The anesthesia doesn’t work, and they regain consciousness. It hasn’t worn off entirely, so they can’t tell the doctors what has happened, but they’re paralyzed and awake. It’s a terrifying thought. Is it going to happen to you?

The odds, of course, are heavily in favor of the fact that it will not. Most surgeries go according to plan, and the whole thing is pretty routine. However, this does happen more than people realize.

It typically occurs once or twice for every thousand surgical procedures carried out. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but don’t underestimate how many surgeries happen every day. There are around 1.3 million cesarean-sections alone, according to some reports. Overall, though the totals change each year, you’re looking at double-digit millions. So, if one person out of a thousand wakes up, that’s still thousands and thousands of potential cases in the U.S., or multiple instances of this happening every single day.

If this happens to you, it can cause all sorts of mental and emotional issues to go along with the physical pain and suffering. It’s a very traumatic experience, and you need to understand what options you have.