Anesthesia can consist of local infiltration where one is completely awake, differing depths of IV sedation (twilight) or profound general anesthesia. The range of anesthetic options exist because not every medical procedure needs a general anesthetic to be performed. For example, you don’t need a general anesthetic to have a colonoscopy. Conversely you don’t want to use a local anesthetic to fix a broken leg either. Plastic surgery is unique, however, because many of its operations can be done in whole or in part by any of the anesthetic options. This leaves the option of patient input into how they may want their procedure performed. There are always understandable fears of general anesthesia, such as not waking up, nausea and vomiting afterwards and loss of control. But besides these fears, other factors help form a patent’s desire for a certain type of anesthesia including cost, the way the procedure is marketed, transportation to and from the facility and the perception of a quicker recovery. (which may or may not be true) But despite these anesthetic options and the plastic surgeon’s desire to please any particular patient, it is important to realize that the results of an operation can be adversely affected by these anesthetic decisions. Choosing a local or sedation anesthetic may limit the extent and thoroughness of the procedure being done. Allowing the plastic surgeon to be able to perform the procedure that way he/she thinks it is best done and with maximal patient comfort almost always assures the best possible result.
‘One Chooses Plastic Surgery For The Best Possible Outcome Not For The Least Amount of Anesthesia’
Dr. Barry Eppley