When you’re considering cosmetic surgery in Charlotte, you may be concerned about the type of anesthesia your doctor will use. The anesthesia will largely depend upon the type of procedure you’re undergoing and your medical history. A well-qualified cosmetic surgeon will know the safest and most appropriate kind of anesthesia for your situation. In general, however, cosmetic surgeons typically use one of three types of anesthesia.
Local anesthesia, such as Lidocaine, numbs specific parts of your body for a short period. The doctor usually injects it into or near the target body part in the procedure so that you’ll feel no pain and little discomfort.
Patients typically have local anesthesia for topical or minimally invasive procedures such as facial fillers, hair implants, laser dermabrasion, or even, occasionally, breast implants. Doctors also sometimes use it for liposuction, depending on the amount of fat the surgeon will remove. A “local” is the lightest form of sedation, and you remain awake throughout the procedure.
Intravenous sedation/Conscious sedation
Intravenous sedation (also known as “IV sedation” or “twilight anesthesia”) is when the pain-block drug enters your body through an IV drip. Because the sedative affects your entire body, it is a form of general anesthesia. Most patients remain awake under this form of sedation but will remember little of the procedure.
A qualified anesthetist administers this type of sedation and will monitor you throughout in case of complications. You will be groggy when the effects wear off and will need someone to drive you home. However, you should recover relatively quickly and with little side effects. Surgeons might use twilight sedation with some facelifts, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, breast or chin augmentation, and other procedures.
Patients under general anesthesia are completely unconscious: they feel no pain and have no memory of the procedure. Because autonomic responses such as breathing become weakened under general anesthesia, the medical team will insert a breathing tube in your throat during the operation and an anesthesiologist will monitor your vital signs.
Following the procedure, you may feel confused and sleepy and have an increased risk of nausea or vomiting. You should not drive or operate heavy equipment for the next 24-hours. Surgeons use general anesthesia for invasive surgeries, such as tummy tucks, certain rhinoplasties and breast augmentation.
Anesthesia is very safe, but it is critical to work with an experienced board-certified cosmetic surgeon and anesthesiologist. If you are considering plastic surgery in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, contact our offices to speak with a skilled cosmetic surgeon dedicated to putting your safety, health and comfort first.