consultWhenever a patient is considering a surgical treatment, the question arises as to the type of sedation used.

In cosmetic surgery, whether liposuction, gynecomastia surgery or a body lift procedure, sedation is an integral part not only of a particular procedure but of the healing process as well.

The differences between the two different types of sedation have an impact on recovery, as well as the risk level of surgery.   Surgical procedures are approached from the most conservative standpoint in order to minimize risk and diminish post-surgical stress on the patient.

Our SmartLipo procedure, for instance, utilizes laser technology to ease stress during treatment and also does away with the need for general anesthesia.

Major Differences Between General and Local Anesthesia

The main difference between general anesthesia and IV sedation comes down to breathing.  With the former, it is necessary for an anesthesiologist to monitor and control breathing through the use of an endotracheal tube, which is placed inside the windpipe.

There is no pain associated with this type of anesthesia or from the tube itself, and often this is the most suitable form of sedation for a particular procedure. With IV sedation, a patient is able to breathe on his or her own.

Sensation with Each Type of Anesthesia

There is a common misconception that general anesthesia puts a patient completely asleep and diminishes all feeling and consciousness.  While a patient is heavily sedated under general anesthesia, this does not mean that all sensation of pain is wiped out.  Local anesthetic may also be used in conjunction with general anesthesia in order to assure the patient feels no pain during his or her procedure should this type of anesthesia be used.

With IV sedation, the patient may experience different levels of sedation that fluctuate during a procedure, depending on its duration.  Due to these various levels, the anesthesiologist and surgeon are made aware of any discomfort even before the patient becomes conscious of it and can therefore act quickly to increase the level of sedation or administer more local anesthetic.

Advances in technology used in our operating rooms have made it easier to perform procedures using local anesthetics. In large volumes of tumescent fluid used for laser liposuction, for instance, diluted concentrations of local anesthetic are extremely effective.  This also has expanded the areas of the body that can be treated using only local anesthetic.

What about Recovery?

One major difference in terms of recovery is how quickly a patient comes to following his or her procedure.  General anesthesia takes longer to emerge from, whereas IV sedation can be overcome much more quickly.  Hence, sometimes there is a need for a night in the hospital following a procedure in which general anesthesia is used.

Your Comfort is Our Priority

When discussing cosmetic surgery with us, it is our goal that all involved feel comfortable with the procedure as well as the type of anesthesia to be used.  Longer surgeries need to be weighed carefully to consider the risks of prolonged anesthesia.

During your consultation with the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Team, anesthesia will be discussed and all of your questions answered. Contact us for your free consultation for the cosmetic procedure best suited to you. We can be reached in New York City and Long Island.

*This page does not communicate the full list of complete risks and potential complications from surgery. To receive a list of post-op risks & complications, please contact our office. Smartlipo is a trademark of Cynosure, Inc.