← Back to Blog

General Anesthesia or Local, Which is Best for Your Plastic Surgery Procedure?

Posted on: July 25, 2015  |   Category:

Which Anesthesia Is Best For You?When you prepare for plastic surgery, it can be both exciting and nerve wracking. Having anxiety is perfectly natural, and Dr. Agullo and his kind staff do our best to put your mind at ease about all of the preparations to ensure smooth sailing and successful healing. However, part of being prepared for your big day is to understand everything fully, which can ultimately ease your worries and help to make the process go as planned.

Because you are so focused on the procedure itself, you may overlook the other aspects of plastic surgery that require full knowledge and understanding. One of those big things is anesthesia. There are three types of anesthesia, and they are both very different. General anesthesia is necessary for procedures that require a patient to be “sleeping”. For example, if you are getting a tummy tuck, which is considered more major than liposuction, most patients would receive general anesthesia.

A second type is local anesthesia, which literally isolates the specific area of the cosmetic procedure. It is also called “regional” anesthesia or AWAKE procedure. A lot of plastic surgery procedures can be done with local anesthesia, which is safer because it does not put the patient to sleep. As another example, if you are just getting a chin liposuction or blepharoplasty (upper eyelid) correction, then the area can be localized with local anesthesia. It numbs or blocks the pain to a specific body part in which the anesthesia has been applied, rather than being completely asleep.

The third type is conscious sedation. Think of it as a happy medium. You have the advantage of local anesthesia combined with sedation, but your body continues to breathe on its own. You are relaxed, will likely not remember anything, and have a decreased risk of aesthetic complications.

With local anesthesia, you will be awake and remember everything, although you may not feel anything in that part of your body until the anesthesia wears off. However, with general anesthesia, it will require longer recovery time and you cannot eat or drink anything on the day of (and evening before) your surgery.

You must understand that there are many more risks with general anesthesia. Local anesthesia poses little to no risk, unless you happen to get an allergic reaction, which is extremely rare. While it is important to understand this, you should also know that such incidents are very rare. Today’s monitoring equipment and equipment makes it possible for you to receive top quality care while you are being operated on. Make sure whomever you choose to do your surgery with also partners with a top, reputable anesthesiologist.

Dr. Frank Agullo has a hand picked anesthesia group to give his patients peace of mind that their surgery will go smoothly. Whenever possible, he will recommend local anesthesia if your cosmetic procedure is not something that requires a long time to complete. A happy medium for most procedures is the combination of local anesthesia with sedation, known as conscious sedation. Dr. Agullo particularly likes this because his patients are comfortable, remember very little or nothing at all, and you can get back to your day with less recovery time, less risk and less expense. Ask him your questions about anesthesia prior to any plastic surgery operation.