Both laparoscopic and open splenectomy require general anesthesia. Patients are asleep and completely unaware of what the surgeons are doing. During the operation, a small tube is placed into the stomach via the mouth and another into the bladder. In addition, a standard breathing tube is placed into the windpipe. All these tubes are removed at the end of the procedure before the patient is fully conscious. Other than a possible sore throat, the patient does not know they were present during the operation.
Anesthesia is safe.
Most people are not afraid of the surgery itself but of anesthesia. This is a normal reaction, since they are completely out of control of the situation. However, this fear is not based on reality, since modern anesthetic techniques are extremely safe. Anesthesia is not a mystical trance you are placed in from which you may not wake up.
Anesthesia is a very controlled use of drugs to block certain body functions, such as muscle contraction, consciousness and pain. These drugs can be reversed by other drugs or by stopping their infusion into the veins. While the patient is under anesthesia, vital body functions are all monitored, including EKG, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath. Therefore, anesthesia is so safe that there is really no need to be worried about it. It is safer than driving a car or flying in an airplane. People are anesthetized millions of times per day all over the world without problems.