17 doctors weighed in:
Will I stop breathing during anesthesia?
17 doctors weighed in

Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology
5 doctors agree
In brief: It depends
It is possible to breathe entirely on your own during general anesthesia, depending on the type of surgery you have.
With some types of airway devices such as an lma, you don't have to be on a ventilator. However, major operations on the abdomen or chest, for example, usually require a breathing tube and the patient does not resume breathing on his own until the surgery is over.

In brief: It depends
It is possible to breathe entirely on your own during general anesthesia, depending on the type of surgery you have.
With some types of airway devices such as an lma, you don't have to be on a ventilator. However, major operations on the abdomen or chest, for example, usually require a breathing tube and the patient does not resume breathing on his own until the surgery is over.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Dr. Karen Sibert
Thank
Dr. Seth Akst
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: It depends
You may or may not stop breathing during anesthesia, depending on the specific type of anesthesia, the surgery, and your medical history.
It is important for you to know that you will not stop breathing until after you are unconscious, so you do not need to be afraid of being unable to breathe while still awake.

In brief: It depends
You may or may not stop breathing during anesthesia, depending on the specific type of anesthesia, the surgery, and your medical history.
It is important for you to know that you will not stop breathing until after you are unconscious, so you do not need to be afraid of being unable to breathe while still awake.
Dr. Seth Akst
Dr. Seth Akst
Thank
Dr. John Stork
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Maybe
Some operations require muscle relaxation or paralysis, which also paralyzes the respiratory muscles.
In this case the anesthesia provider will provide respirations (breathing) with a ventilator. Other operations may not require paralysis, and you may continue to breathe on your own even while under anesthesia, possibly with some assistance.

In brief: Maybe
Some operations require muscle relaxation or paralysis, which also paralyzes the respiratory muscles.
In this case the anesthesia provider will provide respirations (breathing) with a ventilator. Other operations may not require paralysis, and you may continue to breathe on your own even while under anesthesia, possibly with some assistance.
Dr. John Stork
Dr. John Stork
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Kamel Ghandour
Dr. Stork is right. Remember though, Anesthesia is given and your are constantly monitored. We treat you as needed depending on how you react and what you need for the surgery... Then at the end we allow you wake up and then you don't need us to do anything anymore. Good luck.
Dr. Jon Krook
Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: No
When you undergo general anesthesia, you are deep enough that you would not breathe without support.
The most important duty of the anesthesia team managing you is that you continue breathing. That is why they intubate you (pass a breathing tube down your trachea), place you on a ventilator, and monitor your vitals and other parameters very closely.

In brief: No
When you undergo general anesthesia, you are deep enough that you would not breathe without support.
The most important duty of the anesthesia team managing you is that you continue breathing. That is why they intubate you (pass a breathing tube down your trachea), place you on a ventilator, and monitor your vitals and other parameters very closely.
Dr. Jon Krook
Dr. Jon Krook
Thank
Dr. Marc Abramson
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Possibly
Depends on what type of anesthesia you receive.
With general anesthesia we take over your respirations and place you on a ventilator. With regional or MAC anesthesia you will be breathing on your own. There are risks with everything. When you receive anything other than a general we are always to prepared to breathe for you if you were to stop breathing on your own.

In brief: Possibly
Depends on what type of anesthesia you receive.
With general anesthesia we take over your respirations and place you on a ventilator. With regional or MAC anesthesia you will be breathing on your own. There are risks with everything. When you receive anything other than a general we are always to prepared to breathe for you if you were to stop breathing on your own.
Dr. Marc Abramson
Dr. Marc Abramson
Thank
Dr. Edwin Perez
Pain Management
In brief: General Anesthesia
If you are getting General Anesthesia than most likely yes at least for some portion of the surgery.
If you are getting sedation than you will breath on your own.

In brief: General Anesthesia
If you are getting General Anesthesia than most likely yes at least for some portion of the surgery.
If you are getting sedation than you will breath on your own.
Dr. Edwin Perez
Dr. Edwin Perez
Thank
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
In brief: No
One of the main things that anesthesiologists do is ensure that patients keep breathing.

In brief: No
One of the main things that anesthesiologists do is ensure that patients keep breathing.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified,
33 years in practice
928K people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors