Anesthesia and Your Plastic Surgery
Whether it’s labiaplasty or rhinoplasty, any time you hear someone talk about how a plastic-surgery operation is done, you’re going to hear the mention of anesthesia. That’s because plastic surgery is just that–surgery–and you don’t want to go through it without some form of anesthesia. So let’s consider the different types that are available.
There are different kinds of anesthesia. The type used for you will depend on a couple of things, including which procedure you’re getting and your medical condition. In most instances, your anesthesiologist will administer, not just the anesthetic, but a sedative to accompany it.
The different forms of anesthesia include:
1) Local anesthesia, which is an agent given by injection usually by the surgeon and it temporarily stops any sensation of pain in a specific area of the body. During a local anesthetic, the patient is conscious. If it’s just a minor procedure, local anesthetic ssuffices. But if a large area has to be numbed, a regional anesthetic might be called for.
2) A regional anesthetic numbs a whole part of the body that receives the surgical procedure i.e. an arm, a leg etc. Most typically, a regional anesthetic injection is given in the vicinity of nerves which provide that part of the body with sensation. Two of the most common kinds of regional anesthetic include a spinal anesthetic (used for pelvic, rectal, lower abdominal and lower extremity surgery); epidural anesthetic, used for surgery on a person’s lower limbs, and especially during labor or childbirth. An epidural involves continually infusing the anesthetic through a catheter placed in the space which surrounds the woman’s spinal cord.
A general anesthetic, which is used to render a person unconscious during the surgery is used if the area to be operated on cannot be numbed by a regional block i.e. chest. This anesthetic is either inhaled via a mask or administered via an intravenous line.
The process of administering your anesthesia might seem simple, but there is much involved with it, and thus it requires only a trained expert. Your health, and indeed, your very life, might depend on it!
the anesthesiologist is physician trained to manage and administer anesthesia when you undergo surgery. They also manage and treat changes in the patient’s life functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, as these functions must be monitored and kept stable during surgery.
Just before the surgery, the anesthesiologist evaluates your medical condition and forms a plan that takes your physical condition into account. It’s critical that the anesthesiologist knows about your entire medical history, medications and lifestyle. For instance, he will need to know your known reactions to anesthetics, current herbal supplements you’re taking (since they could cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate), and allergies to foods or drugs. Also, tell him about prescription or over-the-counter medications you are currently or have recently taken.
One of the most important roles of the anesthesiologist is monitoring you as the surgery is underway. A qualified anesthesiologist will observe you second by second, looking for even the smallest changes in body functions. Don’t let the thought of this intimidate you. Rather, let it comfort you, since this means that a relatively safe plastic surgery procedure becomes even safer under his watchful eye.