TLC's 'Awake Surgery' Features Real-Life Cases and a Doctor Known for Her Skills

Chrissy Bobic - Author
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Dec. 14 2022, Published 2:06 p.m. ET

TLC's three-part special Awake Surgery isn't as terrifying as it sounds, and Dr. Meegan Gruber stars in the limited series as the surgeon who performs surgeries on patients who are, well, awake. But the patients aren't victims of accidentally waking up too early after an anesthesia-induced slumber. Instead, they're patients who know what they're getting into. And Dr. Gruber seems to be a master at what she does.

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So, who is Dr. Meegan Gruber from Awake Surgery? She's a real-life doctor known well for different procedures where patients are required to be awake during them. And once you watch an episode of Awake Surgery, you'll understand the process a little better. Even if you still can't imagine enduring a surgery like that yourself.

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Who is Dr. Meegan Gruber from 'Awake Surgery'?

Outside of Awake Surgery, Dr. Gruber has been performing her "awake technique" for years. She's a real plastic surgeon who performs most of her procedures on patients while they are awake and able to know and understand what is happening. She has been a board-certified plastic surgeon for more than 20 years and, as a result, she has a successful practice that she advertises on her Instagram account.

And according to Dr. Gruber's website for her practice, patients who opt for being awake during their surgeries with her will experience a more "rapid recovery" than if they'd had the same procedure with general anesthesia.

Awake Surgery puts a spotlight on exactly how it works, but Dr. Gruber had been doing it for a long time before the TLC special.

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Dr. Meegan Gruber has an office in Florida.

If you want to visit Dr. Gruber's office IRL, she's located in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., near Sarasota. She offers several plastic surgery procedures, though not all of them require patients to be awake. The surgeries wherein a patient remains awake include breast lifts, tummy tucks, and butt lifts.

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Dr. Gruber offers other procedures that don't appear to be part of her awake technique. Those procedures include face lifts and eyelid lifts. But with the awake surgeries, apparently the recovery time can be a fraction of what it is with others.

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Is 'Awake Surgery' real?

While Dr. Gruber's awake surgeries seem a little less common than plastic surgery procedures where patients remain asleep, so to speak, they are real. Dr. Gruber even shares surgeries on YouTube to give prospective clients a better idea of what to expect. Other plastic surgeons offer a similar experience, which includes local anesthetic and light sedation for patients.

Is awake surgery safe?

According to one plastic surgeon's website based in Beverly Hills, Calif., a benefit of getting awake surgery is that there's "there is less risk and far less strain on your body" than if you were given general anesthesia.

St. Louis-based Dr. Samer Cabbabe, however, shared a Facebook video in March 2021 in which he gave his professional opinion against performing awake surgeries like liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tucks on patients.

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He shared that there can be dangers associated with having these awake surgeries done if there aren't anesthesiologists present to properly monitor the patient's oxygen.

There are certainly conflicting opinions on awake surgeries in general, but fans who are curious can tune into Awake Surgery on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.

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