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The Different Types of Anesthesia Used in Plastic Surgery

April 20th, 2017 | Posted in: Beauty Tips | Tags:

Today, plastic surgery is safer than ever before. However, having anesthesia during a procedure can still make anyone nervous. There have been many advances made in surgery as well as in anesthesia. Many different types of anesthesia can be used on a patient depending on their specific needs and at times, requests. It is important to always feel safe and comfortable when you are undergoing a surgery. Do your research on the different types of anesthesia that are available as well as finding the right medical professionals who are qualified to perform your plastic surgery. Here are the different types of anesthesia that are used in plastic surgery:


Local anesthesia is only numbing medication. This kind of anesthesia is the safest and easiest to recover from. With local anesthesia, the area that is being treated, is injected with a numbing medication (usually Lidocaine). This will make that area numb so that you will feel only pressure and no pain during your procedure. The best part about this kind of anesthesia is that there is no recovery so you will be able to drive yourself home.

Twilight Anesthesia

Twilight anesthesia, also referred to as IV sedation, is where you would have medication through an IV which is still general anesthesia. Typically, the IV is placed in your arm, and then during the procedure you will receive medication through your IV to help you relax. You will become a little groggy. You will not be put to sleep with this kind of anesthesia, but you will not remember much. Since it is still general anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home.

General Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and unable to feel pain during any medical procedures. General anesthesia is more than just being asleep as the anesthetized brain does not respond to pain signals or reflexes.

The goal of general anesthesia during surgery is to achieve the following five points:

  • Pain relief
  • Loss of memory of the procedure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Motionlessness
  • Weakening of autonomic responses

There are two major types of anesthetics used for general anesthesia which are inhalation and intravenous anesthetics.

Inhalation Anesthetics

Which are sometimes called volatile anesthetics, are compounds that enter the body through the lungs and are carried by the blood to the body tissues. Inhalation anesthetics are less often used alone in recent clinical practice as they are typically used together with intravenous anesthetics. A combination of inhalation and intravenous anesthetics is called balanced anesthesia.

Intravenous Anesthetics

General anesthesia which is produced by injection of the central nervous system with depressants into the venous circulation.

The anesthetist and medical professionals provide supplemental oxygen. Patients are monitored closely. Vital signs, blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and temperature are monitored throughout the surgery. The patient’s level of consciousness is also closely watched. Minor side effects from general anesthesia, including nausea, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches, tend to resolve on their own within hours or a few days after surgery. Patients who undergo general anesthesia will not be permitted to drive or operate heavy machinery for a minimum of 24 hours following the procedure.

The type of anesthesia that your surgeon will select depends on factors such as the type of surgery, complexity of surgery, length of surgery, and the patient’s overall health. Sometimes a patient will be asked for his preference among methods of anesthesia.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

When undergoing surgery, you should always choose a surgeon whom you can trust and with whom you can have candid, comprehensive and open communications. Dr. Chiu provides a relaxed environment for patients and ensures that your consultation is a comfortable, enjoyable experience in which you feel confident expressing concerns and asking any and all questions regarding your procedure(s). Dr. Chiu takes the time to thoroughly understand your goals and objectives so he can help you achieve the aesthetic results you desire. If you are considering plastic surgery, please contact us here today to schedule a consultation.




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