How Safe Is Anesthesia?
The purpose of anesthesia is to allow surgery to be performed under ideal operative conditions with the patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible. There are generally four main categories of anesthesia, including:
- Local – Numbing medication is injected into the tissues at the surgical site. The patient remains awake.
- Local with sedation (MAC or monitored anesthesia care) – Numbing medication is injected into the tissues at the surgical site. Intravenous sedation is also administered, providing a “twilight” anesthesia where the patient can be semi-awake, relaxed, and comfortable.
- Regional – The patient is either awake or partially conscious as the region of the body that requires surgery is numbed.
- General – The patient is unconscious with no awareness or sensations during surgery. This type of anesthesia is commonly used for many plastic surgery procedures.
How does general anesthesia work?
General anesthesia is usually administered intravenously (through an IV). This is combined either with a mask or a breathing tube that allows, among other things, for proper oxygenation of the tissues.
There are typically three stages involved with general anesthesia.
Stage 1: Induction
Medication is administered, and the patient begins to feel its effects.
Stage 2: Excitement
The patient may feel a state of excitement as the anesthesia kicks in. Breathing patterns may change, and the patient may “twitch” briefly.
Stage 3: Unconsciousness
Breathing patterns return to normal, muscles relax, and the patient becomes unconscious. This allows the surgeon to operate safely without causing any pain to the patient.
The Importance of Having a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist
It might be somewhat surprising to know that far more people are afraid of general anesthesia than they are of the surgery itself. This type of anesthesia does have some inherent risks, which are generally quite low for healthy individuals particularly when administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. I will only use competent board-certified anesthesiologists who I would feel quite comfortable personally using them.
During surgery, the anesthesiologist monitors the following:
- Oxygen level in the blood
- Heart rate
- Respiratory rate
- Blood pressure
- Carbon dioxide exhalation levels
- Concentration of the anesthetic
- Brain activity
It is my goal to ensure that you are comfortable and at ease with every aspect of your procedure, including your options with anesthesia. If you are interested in any breast enhancement procedure, please contact us today to learn more. Call (480) 451-3000 to schedule your consultation, or fill out our online contact form for more information.