December 2010 :: Features in Focus

Memory Loss After Surgery Can Be Caused By Too Much Anesthesia

Published Wednesday Dec 1, 2010

Book-CoverNEWPORT BEACH, CA – Memory loss after surgery is more likely than waking up in the middle of surgery, but an even greater risk is waking up with dementia or other serious brain damage.

Worse yet, most patients who suffer brain damage because of anesthesia over-medication aren’t even aware of the cause of their mental impairment.

About 99.9 percent of the surgeries performed in the U.S. put patients at risk of being inflicted with delirium, dementia or death because a brain monitor was not used by the anesthesiologist. That is not acceptable to Dr. Barry Friedberg, an acclaimed anesthesiologist  and propofol expert who is a leading advocate for establishing a new standard of care to avoid brain damage, and eliminate nausea and vomiting as anesthesia side-effects.

“The simple use of a brain monitor during surgery to measure the effect the anesthesia is having on the patient will prevent all risk of over-medication and almost all risk of under-medication,” stresses Dr. Friedberg, author of Getting Over Going Under: 5 Things You MUST Know Before Anesthesia (ISBN 978-0-9829169-0-2, 2010, Goldilocks Press, 116 pages, $18.95).

An anesthesiologist with more than 30 years’ experience, Dr. Friedberg has developed a new standard of care for the administration of anesthesia that virtually eliminates any damage to the brain during surgery and prevents headaches or nausea after the patient wakes up. By adding use of a brain monitor, the Friedberg Method eliminates the danger of over-medication and almost all risk of the patient waking up during surgery.

“You have to live with the long-term consequences of your short-term care,” stresses Dr. Friedberg. “Goldilocks anesthesia avoids the nefarious practice of routinely overmedicating you for fear of under-medicating you. Goldilocks anesthesia is always just the right amount, not too little or too much!”

Dr. Friedberg started the Goldilocks Foundation to inform the public about the hidden dangers from anesthesia over-medication and what can be done to eliminate those dangers. All proceeds from the sale of Getting Over Going Under are being donated to the Goldilocks Foundation.

The major reasons a brain monitor is not used during surgery, explains the author, is because the $20 cost cannot be billed to Medicare and most major insurance companies and because surgeons and anesthesiologists are by nature resistant to change.

“But if the patient insists on use of a brain monitor in the right way their request will be granted most of the time,” adds Friedberg. “If not, the patient merely has to exercise the power of the dollar and go to another hospital or facility that is willing to use a brain monitor.”
In his book, Dr. Friedberg spells out what patients should do to insure that a brain monitor is used. At his website,, the author offers three free letters that can be downloaded for use in requesting use of a brain monitor. The form letters are to the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and hospital administrator.

About Dr. Barry Friedberg

A board certified anesthesiologist for more than three decades, Dr. Friedberg is author of Anesthesia in Cosmetic Surgery as well as Getting Over Going Under. He developed The Friedberg Method of administering anesthesia in 1992 and the Goldilocks Anesthesia protocol in 1997. Dr. Friedberg was awarded a US Congressional award for applying his methods on wounded soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The founder of the Goldilocks Foundation, Dr. Friedberg has been published and cited in several medical journals and textbooks.