Anesthesia During Plastic Surgery An Overview

All of us on earth would love to look beautiful all the time. Be it of any shape, size, complexion, we all love ourselves and would wish to look even more beautiful. Unfortunately, when some mishap happens in your life that affects your looks, it may make you low. But do you really think that you must get low? No! Plastic surgery can be your choice then. It is basically performed to correct the defects that occur accidentally or may be certain birth defects.

What is plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery is a great blessing in disguise, it helps reconstruct or repair the damaged tissue or organs due to acquired problems in your later life such as in breast cancer, trauma (animal bite, severe wounds, burns, infections and other conditions) or it is also helpful for you to correct your birth defects such as cleft palate, severe birthmarks, ear pinna problems, webbed fingers or too many fingers. There are many other conditions where plastic surgery stands as an option, but these are the common condition where plastic surgery is beneficial.

What are the available anaesthesia options for the surgery?

You must never forget to ask your surgeon these questions before you schedule surgery. Most of us may have had some bad experiences in the past due to anaesthesia. So, it is you who must let the surgeon know about the bad experiences of anesthesia in the past if any.

Anesthesia used for plastic surgery:

Mostly, every surgical procedure requires a dose of anesthesia, before the surgeon gives the work to his knife, here are the anesthesia used in surgical procedures:

  • Local anesthesia (LA):

LA is used to prevent pain enforcing the particular or specific area of interest to get numb. This is primarily used when the surgeon stitches up the tissue or wound.

  • Intravenous sedation:

This is safer compared to general anesthesia; it is not that stressful for the patient as it minimizes the post-operative recovery time, and reduces nausea and vomiting. IV sedation doesn’t use any breathing tube and shows no complaints of sore throats. This sedation is also termed as (twilight sleep) and is used for facial surgeries such as faceliftseyelid lifts, and nasal surgeries. It is used even in breast augmentation, reduction, and breast lifts. People undergoing liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are also administered IV sedation.

  • General anesthesia:

Administering general anesthesia makes the person lose his/her consciousness; therefore the person undergoing the surgery can never feel the pain perception.

Which one is better? General anesthesia (or) local anesthesia.

General anesthesia: When your surgeon chooses general anesthesia for your plastic surgical procedure, then you should also expect a respirator and an endotracheal tube to be inserted into your throat for helping you to breathe. It causes a deep sleep and makes you unconscious as it completely paralyzes your body, though some people opt only for general anesthesia to make themselves completely unaware of the actual procedure.

But, it is unfortunate that most of the side effects such as nausea, vomiting, giddiness, etc. are associated with the administration of general anesthesia and it takes a long duration for the patient to recover from the post-anaesthetic effects.

Local anesthesia: LA is comparatively better than GA, here your surgeon would place you under IV sedation and the specific area that is to be operated is only made numb. Here, the whole body is not paralyzed you can feel relaxed and comfort yourself. Therefore, LA is considered to be a safer alternative to GA comparatively. Administration of LA does not put your body under stress and it also requires fewer drugs for recovery and the recovery is also faster.

The advantage is that you can walk easily out of the hospital without any nausea which is common with GA.  LA also makes the procedure less risky due to less invasion.

What questions should I ask my surgeon before scheduling the procedure?

  • What could be the safest and simplest surgery that helps achieve my goals?

  • What is the duration of the surgery?

  • Can I expect any side effects after the surgery?

  • How long does it take for the surgery scar to fade away?
  • How noticeable can the scars be?

How should I prepare for plastic surgery?

  • You must take food or fluids 6 hours before the surgery

  • You must ask your surgeon about the doubts regarding the drugs that you take for other conditions such as hypertension etc

  • You must discontinue drugs such as anticoagulants or aspirin a week before the surgery as these may cause bleeding

  • You must suspend smoking at least two weeks before the surgery and a week after the surgery

  • You must remove all the facial makeup, jewellery before entering the operating room

  • You must arrange for someone to drop you home after the surgery as you will be under post-anaesthetic effects it’s not recommended for you to drive alone.

We see many of the people around us using plastic surgery as an option to look like models, we don’t know how far is it wise? But it is surely the best option for the people who are worrying about birth defects or any other deformities that occur accidentally. Plastic surgery is always beneficial in fact! for improving one's self-esteem, confidence, mingle up in society.

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