Plastic Surgery Anesthesia: Types, Risks, and What to Expect
Stepping into the world of plastic surgery means stepping into a journey of transformation, and anesthesia is your companion for a smooth, pain-free ride. Feeling anxious about it? You’re not alone.
It’s natural to feel this way, but here at Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, we aim to ease those concerns. Anesthesia during cosmetic procedures is not only safe but a vital aspect of achieving your dream results.
And guess what? You’ve got options! There are different anesthesia options for plastic surgery, each designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Today, we’ll discuss your plastic surgery anesthesia options, how they work, their benefits, and risks. We’ll also cover how to prepare for anesthesia before, during, and after your surgery.
Our goal? To ensure you feel confident and well-informed every step of the way.
Types of Anesthesia in Plastic Surgery
Starting with the basics, what is anesthesia? Essentially, its main purpose is to shield you from any pain or discomfort, and there are three main types:
The most well-known type, general anesthetics numb all sensations in your body. It’s like being carried into a deep sleep—you’re fully unconscious, or “put under.”
Local anesthetics numb a specific area of your body. Unlike general anesthesia, you’re fully conscious, possibly feeling slight pressure but no pain.
How Does Anesthesia Work?
Anesthesia has three objectives:
- Analgesia (no pain)
- Amnesia (no consciousness)
- Muscle relaxation
Local and regional anesthesia block pain signals from reaching your brain. General anesthesia does the same by restricting a specific protein that helps neurons communicate.
The catch? Research behind anesthesia is still unfolding.
That’s where a prestigious surgeon like Dr. Cat shines. Her reputation for meticulousness, plus extensive experience and expertise means you’re in the best hands.
Part of that expertise is knowing all the anesthesia risks and benefits. With Dr. Cat, you’ll feel confident that every detail of your procedure, anesthesia included, is curated for your comfort and peace of mind.
Benefits of Anesthesia
Anesthesia’s main advantage is offering you a painless, comfortable surgery. It also helps your surgeon nail those perfect results by keeping you still.
Each type of anesthesia has its own benefits:
- General: Makes longer, more invasive procedures possible, allowing the surgical team to monitor vitals like breathing and blood pressure.
- Local: Makes less invasive procedures faster, safer, and less costly with easier preparation & recovery.
Naturally, there are some potential risks and safety measures to know.
Risks and Safety
For most patients, severe side effects or complications are rare, with only minor side effects common:
- Bruising, soreness, and/or itchiness at injection site
- Dry, sore throat
- Shivering or chills
- Difficulty urinating
- Confusion, disorientation, and/or drowsiness afterward
Fortunately, these side effects usually resolve swiftly post-op. You may receive antiemetic drugs pre-surgery to ward off post-surgery nausea and vomiting.
It’s worth noting that some forms of anesthesia carry more risk. General anesthesia tops the list, with potential allergic reactions, nerve injury, or regaining consciousness during surgery.
Again: these instances are extremely rare.
Some people aren’t ideal plastic surgery candidates, such as smokers or those with certain diseases. In these cases, there is always a heightened risk.
To guarantee the safety of anesthesia in surgery, your team generally includes a skilled anesthesiologist (depending on the anesthesia used).
The Anesthesiologist’s Role
An anesthesiologist is a doctor with specialized training in administering and managing anesthesia for patients undergoing surgery.
The role of an anesthesiologist in cosmetic surgery is to provide the highest level of comfort and safety before, during, and after your procedure.
Anesthesia for patient comfort means addressing any concerns you may have before surgery, guaranteeing a smooth transition in and out of anesthesia, and treating any side effects post-surgery.
On the safety front, Dr. Cat only works with highly trained, respected anesthesiologists who evaluate your screening information alongside the surgical plan to recommend the best anesthesia type, dose, and technique.
Preparing for Anesthesia in Plastic Surgery
You’ll also receive pre-op instructions with guidelines for medications, diet, and day-of transportation.
Pre-operative screening involves going over your medical history, medications, allergies, lifestyle, and prior anesthesia experiences.
From there, Dr. Cat works with your anesthesiologist to determine the ideal anesthesia plan.
In the prep room, our team will walk you through each step of the anesthesia process. Then, you’ll be connected to an IV that administers your anesthesia.
During the Surgery
Your experience during surgery depends on the type of anesthesia you receive.
Local or regional anesthesia can take 15-30 minutes to kick in, whereas general anesthesia kicks in within a minute or two.
You’ll gently drift off, but remain connected to a breathing tube and other monitoring equipment, allowing your anesthesiologist to track and regulate your vitals throughout the surgery.
With regional or local anesthesia, you remain conscious but numbed. You may feel drowsy or drift into sleep, especially if paired with a sedative (a medication that facilitates relaxation and reduces anxiety).
Recovery After Anesthesia
A smooth anesthesia recovery after plastic surgery is vital for preventing complications.
Local and regional anesthesia typically wears off naturally. You’ll be monitored for side effects, but most patients can leave on their own that same day.
Waking up from general anesthesia is generally a gentle process: your anesthesiologist administers anesthesia-reversing medications and removes your breathing tube.
The experience of waking up can vary. Some patients may feel disoriented, groggy, or emotional, but these pass quickly. You’ll be continuously monitored to identify and treat any side effects.
General anesthesia takes 24 hours to wear off and up to one week to fully leave your system.
Traveling from afar? Plan to stay at least one to two weeks, depending on your procedure. Dr. Cat partners with a hotel and nursing facilities in Beverly Hills for you to choose from when planning your stay.
Upon discharge, you’ll receive post-op instructions and any prescriptions for post-surgery medications.
Once you’re home, have someone support you in the immediate days post-surgery. Take it easy, avoiding strenuous activities, alcohol, and driving.
Don’t worry, you’ll be back to your usual—or should we say, freshly rejuvenated self in no time!
Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery: Superior Comfort and Care
Anesthesia and patient comfort are Dr. Cat’s highest priority. She’ll provide the highest standard of care that encompasses safety, comfort, and stunning results.
Feeling jittery about anesthesia is completely normal—some patients find the thought of going under more daunting than the surgery itself.
But Dr. Cat’s team is here to answer your questions and support you at every phase of your surgery.
Ready to take the first step towards your aesthetic dreams?