Anesthesia keeps you comfortable during your surgery. When administered by a trained doctor or anesthesiologist to the right candidate, anesthesia is very safe, beneficial, and has a low risk of complication. Your doctor will review your medical history to ensure that you are healthy enough to receive anesthesia, help you decide which type of anesthesia best suits your needs, and provide detailed pre- and post-operative instructions to help make your treatment as comfortable as possible.
Levels of Anesthesia
There are three levels of anesthesia commonly used during cosmetic surgery:
For minimally invasive cosmetic procedures including surgical vein removal, your doctor may perform your treatment under local anesthesia. This type of anesthesia is usually injected at the treatment site and numbs the tissue to prevent you from feeling pain. Many patients prefer this type of anesthesia when appropriate because of the minimal side effects.
Intravenous (IV) sedation allows your doctor to control your level of consciousness throughout your procedure. It is usually combined with local anesthesia. IV sedation allows you to remain conscious and responsive during the procedure, but patients usually have no memory of treatments after the effects subside.
Reserved for more extensive surgical procedures such as a tummy tuck, general anesthesia places patients in a medically induced coma. To ensure your safety, a surgical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vitals throughout your procedure.
How to Prepare for Anesthesia
Your surgeon may require you to fast after midnight the night before your procedure. Anesthesia halts the body's reflexes, and fasting prevents vomiting or regurgitation to ensure your safety.
MedicationsCertain medications cannot be combined with anesthesia. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you take.
Smoking can increase the risk of complications during your surgery. Therefore, it is recommended that you quit smoking for as long as possible before your surgery date and ideally stop the habit for good.
Plan a Ride HomeAlthough patients who undergo a procedure under local anesthesia are generally fine to drive home on the day of treatment, patients who undergo IV sedation or general anesthesia will need to arrange for someone to drive them home.
Potential Side Effects
Anesthesia has a low risk of life-threatening complications. However, some patients experience side effects such as:
- Postoperative nausea and vomiting, which occurs in over 35 percent of patients
- Sore throat
- Dizziness or disorientation
- Temporary memory loss
- Chills and shivering
These side effects should subside in the hours and days following your surgery. If they worsen, call your doctor.
Explore Options With Your Doctor
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, your doctor can recommend the right type of anesthesia to help keep you completely comfortable throughout the procedure. Schedule a consultation with a doctor today to begin planning your treatment.