Talking to Your Plastic Surgeon About Anesthesia

Without a medical background, anesthesia can be an overwhelming topic. There are various types, including general, regional, local anesthesia, in addition to sedation (also referred to as “monitored anesthesia care”). The best way to understand what type of anesthesia is best for you for your procedure is to talk with a medical professional. Talking to your plastic surgeon about anesthesia can help you make an informed decision about your medical care and procedures. Below you will find helpful information to guide you through the conversation with your surgeon.

Talking to Your Plastic Surgeon About Anesthesia

It’s helpful to understand the various types of anesthesia so you can make an informed decision with the guidance of your plastic surgeon.

General Anesthesia:

This is the type of anesthesia most people think of when the topic comes up. You are unconscious and have no awareness or sensations when under general anesthesia. We use this often during major surgeries and can administer it through a breathing tube, mask, or intravenously.

Regional Anesthesia:

This type of anesthesia numbs one area of your body to prevent you from feeling pain. In fact, it can completely block sensation and feeling in the surgical area. We inject regional anesthetic into the cluster of nerves that provide sensation to that area of your body. A common example of regional anesthesia is an epidural.


Also referred to as “monitored anesthesia care,” sedation has the effect of making you feel relaxed and drowsy. You remain awake and can respond. But you remain in what we refer to as a space of “twilight.” We often administer this sedation intravenously. A common procedure where sedation finds use would occur during a colonoscopy.

Local Anesthesia:

This type of anesthesia intends to provide limited pain relief in certain procedures. We often inject it through a needle or applied as a cream. It numbs a small area for a short time. This often finds use during dental procedures or when sewing a deep cut with sutures.

Risks of General Anesthesia

There are many instances where general anesthesia is required. While general anesthesia is considered safe in those instances, some patients may be at a higher risk for complications. Risk factors include those with obstructive sleep apnea, a history of seizures, high blood pressure, history of reactions to anesthesia, diabetes, are overweight or obese, have certain drug allergies, take certain medications that increase bleeding, currently smoke, have an alcohol use disorder, or have an existing heart, kidney, or lung condition. Despite being a safe form of anesthesia, there are options outside of general anesthesia that don’t pose as many risks.

Benefits of Awake Plastic Surgery Procedures

For those interested in plastic surgery, there are additional options outside of just general anesthesia. Awake plastic surgery procedures in Beverly Hills are an innovative approach to ensuring you are comfortable and safe. While general anesthesia is an essential and safe part of modern medicine, alternative options are available and just as effective in cases where it not required.

There are a variety of benefits to awake plastic surgery procedures. It allows the surgeon to work more easily and you still feel no pain. They prove much safer comparatively as there exists less risk associated with awake procedures. It is also better on your body as it puts less stress on your heart and lungs. In addition to the benefits during the procedure, your recovery time is much quicker. Unlike general anesthesia, awake procedures are also much more affordable as they are less complex due to the risks associated with anesthesia. If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure, contact the top plastic surgeon in Los Angeles today to schedule a consultation.

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Gabbay Plastic Surgery
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Beverly Hills, CA 90210