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Anesthesia for Plastic Surgery


What Different Types of Anesthesia Exist and Which One is Best for My Procedure?

Anesthesia and the choice of which type to use in your surgery is an important choice for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and you: the patient. There are pros and cons to various levels of anesthesia, with the most common approach to use general anesthesia for most surgical cases. This refers to a patient that is all the way asleep with a breathing tube for support of respirations. Moderate, “twilight,” or “MAC” sedation refers to different levels of consciousness with some responsiveness but no memory of a procedure. Local anesthesia refers to an alert patient that has not been treated with inhaled or injected medication but has no or little feeling at the surgical site due to an injection in that area or in the nerves that lead to the site of a procedure. The general rule of thumb is that less anesthesia usually means the faster the recovery, but it is important not to use too little pain, awareness, and breathing support for safety. However, there are also circumstances when less anesthesia can mean a more accurate reading of a patient’s blood pressure or greater resting muscle tone in the legs to pump blood back to the heart, for example, making the risk of postoperative problems less. Some additional modification to optimize patient experience, pain control, safety, and post-operative recovery include the use of rapid, or enhanced, recovery priniciples, special long-acting pain medication during the surgery, and also combination medications that minimize opioid, or narcotic, pain medication usage post-operatively. For example, Dr. Day employs liposomal bupivacaine, or Exparel, a local anesthetic, which works to make a surgical area numb for up to three days after the operation, which helps patients recovery more quickly with less oral medication side effects. We work with anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists who provide high quality patient care while surgery is performed. And all of us focus first and foremost on your comfort, safety, and best recovery plan.

At Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery we take the choices of your anesthesia, along with every decision about your operative experience, very seriously. This helps ensure your best experience in safety, comfort, and surgical results! Be sure to ask about your options for different types of anesthesia during your consultation.

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