Understanding Plastic Surgery & Anesthesia

Anesthesia can be a source of anxiety for many potential plastic surgery patients. I understand. This is why I only work with highly qualified anesthesiologists. I also spend considerable time during your initial consultation going over all of your anesthesia options. But anesthesia is a necessary component of any aesthetic procedure. Even if you are only getting Botox®, your skin is first prepped with a topical analgesic and ice in order to reduce discomfort. I find that understanding plastic surgery and anesthesia helps my patients feel more calm. This, in turn, allows you to relax and lean in to your exciting new aesthetic journey. So, here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to anesthesia.

Anesthesia Choices: Local or General?
Other than a topical analgesic gel or lotion, which is used in most injectable treatments and some laser procedures, your two choices when it comes to anesthesia are:

  • Local anesthesia
  • General anesthesia

The former, as the name implies, only numbs the area being treated. There are a number of different medications that can be used, and all are administered through a series of shots. If you’ve ever had any dental work done, you have experienced local anesthesia. You are awake and aware during the procedure, but feel no pain. General anesthesia, on the other hand, puts you completely under so that you sleep through your entire procedure.

Rules of Thumb About Anesthesia
While I don’t subscribe to any hard and fast rules when it comes to anesthesia, longer and more complicated procedures such as a breast augmentation or Mommy Makeover are performed under general anesthesia while shorter, simpler procedures such as a blepharoplasty or certain liposuction procedures can be done under local anesthesia. However, I always have to take a patient’s acceptance at being awake and anxiety about perceived pain into consideration. If you are someone who would prefer local anesthesia, but are anxious about being awake, there are medications that I can prescribe to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable. My goal is for your aesthetic journey to be a positive one from start to finish.

Benefits of Local Anesthesia
Many patients like the idea of local anesthesia for the following benefits:

  • Less expensive
  • No grogginess or brain fog afterwards
  • Faster recovery

But while general anesthesia can require more downtime than local, I perform all of my One Day Recovery Breast Augmentation procedures under general anesthesia, and my patients are up and going out to dinner the same night as surgery.  Bottom line, the best choice for you when it comes to anesthesia is the one that will safely deliver the kind of results that we both want.

To find out more about your anesthesia options with any surgical or non-surgical procedure with Dr. Mark Epstein in Hauppauge, Long Island, contact us today or call 631-689-1100 to schedule a consultation.

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