Cosmetic surgery procedures can be performed in various locations, depending on the nature and complexity of the procedure. Most cosmetic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, either in an accredited outpatient surgical center or an accredited office-based surgical facility. In all cases, the appropriate choice of anesthesia will be administered, with your comfort and safety in mind.
Local anesthesia is used in all procedures for regional blocks and tumescent in order to minimize discomfort both during and after your procedure, as well as to lessen the need for more powerful anesthesia. Our use of local anesthesia for all procedures has transformed the cosmetic surgery experience for our patients into a near painless experience. We administer the local anesthesia after the patient is asleep, and the effects last for hours after the surgery. It is for this reason that we can offer “24-Hour Recovery after Breast Augmentation” and also have our Tummy Tuck patients walking the same day as part of their “Rapid Recovery Abdominoplasty.” This increased activity after surgery is very important for our patients to avoid and minimize any breathing or blood clot complications. If local anesthesia is the only anesthetic used, patients may drive themselves to and from the surgery, and can care for themselves after surgery. Oral sedatives and anti-anxiety medications may be combined with the local anesthesia, but these patients should be driven and accompanied by a responsible adult. Local anesthesia is appropriate for small, localized surgical areas (cysts, scar revisions, etc.), limited duration procedures, and for combining with other types of anesthesia for longer or more invasive procedures.
For some shorter or less-invasive types of procedures, intravenous or intramuscular sedation may be administered in order to relieve anxiety and relax you. Intravenous or intramuscular anesthesia is always combined with local anesthesia. With this type of anesthesia patients may not drive or go home without adult supervision. It is appropriate for anxious patients, medium-duration procedures and procedures requiring numerous injections of local anesthetics.
For most cosmetic surgery operations, a light general anesthesia will be administered so that you sleep comfortably throughout the entire operation. General anesthesia is a deep state of sleep where the patient loses consciousness and sensation and usually requires assisted ventilation. Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) is light general anesthesia, which uses intravenous sedatives and inhaled agents at low dosages so that patients remain responsive and are able to breathe without assistance. As a result, endotracheal intubation is seldom necessary and patient safety is increased. We work with only certified anesthesia providers and perform our procedures in the ambulatory surgery center under local anesthesia with MAC. General anesthesia is always combined with local anesthesia. With general anesthesia patients may not drive or go home without adult supervision. General anesthesia is appropriate for long-duration procedures where other forms of anesthesia are inadequate to manage expected patient discomfort (e.g., muscle retraction in breast or abdominal surgery, liposuction of multiple areas, most face lifts).
In our outpatient surgical facility, North Brownsville Ambulatory Surgery Center, I work with certified anesthesia providers for all cases done under IV sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety during the procedure. Your vital signs will be continuously monitored at all times to ensure the proper level of anesthesia and analgesia. You will continue to be monitored in the recovery room until you fully return to consciousness and show normal vital signs. Following your procedure you will receive maximum pain control and our nurses will not discharge you from the facility until all normal vital sign parameters and adequate pain control has been achieved.
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