For those electing for plastic or reconstructive surgery, there are a variety of important aspects to consider before going in. During our consultation process, we like to ensure a thorough evaluation of our patients. From the get-go, board certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. Buglino and his staff commit to fully understanding each patient’s concerns and goals, assessing their current mental condition and physical health, and determining the best treatment plan.
Many of our patients undergoing a surgical procedure for the face, breasts, or body – whether cosmetic or reconstructive – will most likely require anesthesia, and the anesthesia process can sometimes be more concerning that the facelift, breast augmentation or liposuction procedure. To properly discuss the method of anesthesiology for your surgery, it is first important to differentiate between general anesthesia and local anesthesia as a starting point.
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia safely puts the patient into a medically induced sleep-like state prior to their procedure using a general anesthetic agent, typically via gas or intravenously (IV). With general anesthesia, the patient experiences:
- Immobility and loss of reflexes
- Insensitivity to pain (analgesia)
- No memory or recollection of time
- Grogginess for a few hours
- No effects after 24 hours
For patients requiring general anesthesia for plastic or reconstructive surgery, Dr. Buglino will recommend the appropriate pre-operative steps.
How is Local Anesthesia different from General Anesthesia?
While both methods of anesthesia temporarily reduces the patients pain, anxiety and distress, and are safe methods of anesthesia with proper administration. There are key differences. With local anesthesia, numbness is restricted to only a specific area of the body. With local anesthetic, the patient experiences:
- Remaining aware
- Insentitivity to pain (analgesia) where applied
- Shorter recovery time and lessened side effects
Dr. Buglino uses local anesthesia to anesthetize the skin and deep tissues at the site of surgery.
What are the benefits of Local Anesthesia with Light IV Sedation?
The technique of combining local anesthesia with light IV sedation allows greater flexibility and control over the surgical experience. With monitored “twilight sedation”, the doctor can tailor the degree of anesthesia used for each patient – based on their assessment. Whether a facelift, breast augmentation or liposuction, it is common to use local anesthesia with light IV sedation. Plastic surgery patients can undergo shorter cosmetic procedures (such as an eyelid surgery) or more lengthy plastic surgery procedures (such as a tummy tuck with liposuction). This type of anesthesia also allows patients to return home without having to stay in a hospital overnight. Being able to recover quickly from the anesthesia and sedation and continue the post-surgery healing process is a plus for many plastic surgery patients.
For more information regarding anesthesia for your plastic surgery procedure, please contact our Woodbury offices. Dr. Anthony Buglino D.O. is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon of the face, eyes, breasts and body. Call 1 (516) 864-0700 to schedule your complimentary consultation.