“During my wisdom teeth surgery, I suddenly woke up to a buzzing sensation. At that moment, I realized exactly what was happening — they were cutting my teeth into smaller pieces using a saw.”

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to wake up during surgery? In our previous posts, we shared stories from people who experienced this terrifying ordeal and those who had bizarre experiences while under anesthesia. The comments section was flooded with even more accounts from our readers about their own surgical nightmares and the aftermath. Get ready for some jaw-dropping tales:

  1. “During my colonoscopy, I woke up as they were taking the biopsy. The pain was excruciating. I recall the doctor reassuring me, saying, ‘It’s OK; I’ll make it go away.’ Anesthesia always makes me extremely ill, but I require a high dose. In another incident, when I broke my leg in half, I pleaded with the ER staff to sedate me. The nurse told me they had to administer three doses because I just wouldn’t stop talking.” —gardenmom
  2. “I experienced two incidents of waking up during surgery — once during a hysterectomy and another time during a hip replacement. The hysterectomy was by far the most traumatic. I could feel every sensation but was unable to move or speak. Before the hip replacement, I informed the anesthesiologist about my previous experience of waking up and expressed my desire to avoid a repeat occurrence. Although he seemed irritated, I was already at the hospital and preparing for the procedure.”
    “Despite my concerns, I did wake up again. However, a wonderful individual ensured that I was thoroughly numbed, and even though I sat up that time, I didn’t feel any pain.” —shannontomlin
  3. “During my wisdom teeth surgery, I woke up unexpectedly. I had all four teeth removed, and I was aware that they needed to cut my teeth into smaller pieces to extract them, as they were growing in sideways. After the nurse said ‘goodnight,’ I drifted off. Suddenly, I awoke to a buzzing sensation. At that moment, I realized precisely what was happening — they were cutting my teeth into fragments.”
    “After opening my eyes, the last thing I remember was someone shouting, ‘she needs more!’ Then, I was unconscious once again.” —holykathryn2
  4. “When I was 17 or 18 years old, I underwent knee surgery at an Air Force base in Turkey to repair an injury. The procedure involved a scope to fix my meniscus and remove some scar tissue. During the surgery, I partially regained consciousness and felt the tourniquet tightening on my leg. I heard someone say, ‘Why isn’t the bleeding stopping?’ Alarmed, I asked, ‘What bleeding?!’ Immediately after that, I lost consciousness again.”
    “Upon waking up in recovery, the first thing I said to the staff was, ‘I guess the bleeding stopped?’ They were astonished that I could recall that moment.” —greenwaltdanielle
  5. “During my emergency appendectomy at 18 weeks pregnant, the surgeons discovered and repaired an umbilical hernia. I was conscious while they cut open my belly button but was unable to move or speak. I could hear their conversations and feel them tugging on something inside my abdomen. Internally, I was screaming and panicking because the breathing tube down my throat made it feel like I wasn’t breathing at all. My only thought was that something terrible was happening to my baby, which explained why they were cutting open my belly.”
    “After the surgery, when I was fully awake, I informed the doctor that I had been conscious during the procedure. They dismissed my experience, saying, ‘Oh, you must have just dreamed it.’ It was a terrifying ordeal, and I suffered from nightmares for weeks afterward. Thankfully, the baby was unharmed and born healthy!” —nicolebeck1211
  6. “During my wisdom teeth removal surgery, I woke up. Although I don’t recall any pain and didn’t open my eyes, I vividly remember holding someone’s hand. When they tried to pull their hand away, I simply held on tighter before losing consciousness again.”
    “After the surgery was complete, I woke up normally in the chair.” —ashleyb717
  7. “In my 20s, I battled cancer and underwent multiple surgeries without any complications until one major operation. The surgery, initially expected to last two hours, stretched to over 12 hours due to the extent of the cancer’s spread. According to the surgeon, I woke up several times as they struggled to maintain the correct anesthetic dosage. He later informed me that I started talking and instructed him not to look inside me while he was scraping tumors away from my aorta (I was cut open from my sternum down, which likely made me feel vulnerable).”
    “Later in the surgery, I attempted to break free from the restraints with such force that I still have visible scars on both ankles. During this episode, I repeatedly cried out, ‘help me.’ Additionally, I technically died twice while unconscious, adding to the ordeal.” —jamesfesperman
  8. “My parents love to recount this story, but now it’s my turn to share it. When I was about 17 years old, I underwent what was meant to be a routine surgery that unexpectedly turned into a major operation. As I was unaware of what I was waking up to, I began screaming ‘f***k’ very loudly due to the pain when I finally regained consciousness. Immediately after, I profusely apologized for my outburst, repeating this cycle about ten times.”
    “The amusing part of this story is that my parents were very strict and never allowed me to curse. So, even under the influence of anesthesia, I knew I had messed up and started crying after saying that in front of them. They found it hilarious, but to me, it felt like the end of the world.” —zombiedolllizkah
  9. “Throughout my life, I have been put under anesthesia approximately ten times. On every single occasion, I have woken up prematurely, recalling snippets of conversations I shouldn’t have heard, and had nurses rushing around me to remove tape and tubes before I fully regained consciousness. Each time, I inform them that I resist the anesthesia and that it takes me some time to succumb to it, but they don’t seem to listen—you’d think they would make a note of it. During my most recent experience, I expressed my concerns to a nurse, and she told me that the anesthetic now contains a component that makes you forget if you wake up, which was the most blatant lie ever.”
    “It’s worth noting that I wasn’t even a child; I was around 25 years old at the time.” —kimberleymolden
  10. “During my cardiac ablation, I could have sworn I woke up multiple times. Although I couldn’t move, I was conscious on a few occasions, and I kept thinking that I needed to inform them I was awake, but I was unable to do so. As the procedure lasted several hours, it’s quite possible that I was starting to come out of the anesthesia, and they had to administer more.”
    “When I inquired about it afterward, they quickly dismissed my concerns, suggesting that I was probably dreaming 🙄.” —triciaa4ce8daefe
  11. “During my first pregnancy, I required an emergency C-section due to a life-threatening situation, which necessitated general anesthesia. I was extremely anxious about the possibility of the anesthetic not working effectively, causing me to wake up paralyzed during the surgery and feeling everything. The anesthetist assured me that he would prevent such an occurrence.”
    “Following the operation, he nervously inquired if I had woken up, appearing visibly distressed. To ease his concern, I assured him that I hadn’t. However, I did regain consciousness while they were attending to my baby and stitching me back up. I recall feeling angry, being reprimanded, and attempting to reach my baby before slipping away again. I believe there was pain, but I’m not entirely certain; 31 years later, I have a vague, peculiar memory of a burning, pulling sensation—not excruciating, but uncomfortable. Despite this, I have never felt traumatized by the experience. I am immensely grateful that my baby survived!” —jborrett793
  12. “I also experienced waking up during my first ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatment. The zap sensation is vividly etched in my memory—it felt like it was passing through my eyeballs, even though I don’t believe that’s the precise location. I cried profusely and explained that I had been conscious during the zap. Despite their repeated insistence that this was impossible, they modified the anesthesia mixture for the subsequent treatments. The new medication burned intensely upon administration, but I never regained consciousness during the procedure again.” —wolftrickster
  13. “I, too, woke up during a colonoscopy when I was about 17 years old. I remember gradually entering a twilight stage of sleep—foggy, not fully awake, but aware. I kept repeating, ‘Ow, ow, OW, OWWWW,’ until I was completely awake with my eyes open. The doctor turned to see me awake, eyes open, yelling, and instructed the anesthesiologist to administer more medication.”
    “Following the procedure, the doctor came out to apologize profusely to my mom and mentioned that I would be asleep longer than expected in recovery 😂. For my second and third colonoscopies, I informed the doctors that I had woken up during my first and would require more anesthesia, but they assured me, ‘Sometimes people think they remember hearing things in the operating room’ 🙄. Nope. It started to happen again during the procedures lol.” —selenakylecalico
  14. “I have experienced being put under anesthesia and waking up during the procedure, only to be put under again. The sensation was akin to visiting hell, and I never wanted to relive that experience. The aftermath was the worst—I was in a state of shock, genuinely feeling as though I had glimpsed the other side. It was absolutely terrifying.” —megro108
  15. “During my wisdom teeth removal, the procedure ended up requiring approximately two additional hours of work beyond what the doctor had initially planned. I regained consciousness midway through, prompting them to administer more anesthetic. However, I suspect that due to the varying doses or other factors, different parts of my body woke up at different rates.”
    “Once the procedure was complete, I woke up and regained my sight and hearing before I could consciously breathe or speak properly. I began suffocating and weeping, making panicked noises, while the doctor repeatedly asked what was wrong. Shortly after, I passed out. On the bright side, this likely means I didn’t inadvertently blurt out anything embarrassing afterward!” —mallmoth
  16. “During an endoscopy, I woke up in the middle of the procedure with the instrument still down my throat. I panicked, and I recall everyone in the room scrambling. Within a few seconds, I was unconscious again.” —pangalacticgargleblaster
  17. “My dad found himself in the emergency room due to a broken wrist. It seems they didn’t administer enough anesthesia because he regained consciousness while the doctors were attempting to twist his hand back into place. He yelled at them to stop, as the pain was unbearable.”

    “The doctors were shocked that the anesthesia had worn off so quickly. Following this incident, we sought the help of a specialist, as it appeared that the emergency room staff didn’t know what they were doing.” —svii

Wow, what a terrifying experience it must be to wake up during surgery! Has this ever happened to you or someone you know? If so, we’d love to hear your story. Please feel free to share it in the comments below.

More resources:

Leave A Reply