Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery offers a number of anesthesia options, designed to ensure comfort and safety during each aesthetic procedure. The best option will depend on the specific treatment and the patient’s individual needs. The type of sedation that is recommended will generally mirror the length and surgical involvement of the cosmetic procedure being performed. Many of our patients do not realize they will have options when it comes to choosing anesthesia and that we listen carefully to their concerns. At Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible regarding all of the techniques available to achieve the desired results, including both cosmetic surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, as well as the recommended methods for pain control. During your initial consultation with Dr. Vitenas, you will have an opportunity to discuss all of the anesthesia options for your case.
Anesthesia refers to the use of a specific medication to either reduce or completely prevent the sensation of pain during a medical procedure. Each medication is unique, temporarily blocking communication between the nerves and the brain. The nervous system works to relay messages back and forth to the brain, communicating with different parts of the body via the spinal cord. Anesthesia will cut this line of communication for a short time, providing optimal comfort.
Purpose of Anesthesia:
- Relieve anxiety
- Keep you asleep
- Minimize pain during surgery and relieve pain afterward (using drugs called analgesics)
- Relax the muscles, which helps to keep you still
- Block out the memory of the surgery
Types of Anesthesia:
While there are many types of anesthesia available today, they are broken down into three main categories: local, regional, and general. Dr. Vitenas can choose one or more types of anesthesia to be part of a customized treatment plan. This decision will be based on your medical history, allergies, specific surgical procedure, and personal preference. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Vitenas will fully explain and discuss all of your anesthesia options. Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery and the Houston Surgery Center are fully accredited by The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), offering a full range of anesthesia options that exist including:
- Local anesthesia – A local anesthetic is used to numb one small, isolated area of the body. The patient normally remains fully awake. Depending on the area, a local anesthetic can be applied through an ointment, a spray, or with a small injection. Local anesthesia works great for skin and laser treatments, or injectables such as Botox Cosmetic or Dermal Fillers. Local anesthesia gives patients the opportunity for greater mobility right after the procedure, with less downtime and a shorter recovery. This is a good option for ‘lunchtime’ procedures, allowing patients to get right back to their busy day.
- General Anesthesia – General anesthesia is used for invasive procedures such as facelift, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, and liposuction. Once in the operating room, the anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia through an IV or gas via facemask. An endotracheal tube will be placed down the mouth and throat, helping to keep the airway open so patients can safely breathe. The anesthesiologist will carefully monitor the level of consciousness, all vital signs, and steady breathing while the patient is under. Once the surgery is over, the anesthesiologist will slowly bring the patient back to full consciousness; this process can take from 30-60 minutes in the recovery room.
- Regional Anesthesia – Regional anesthesia is applied through an injection placed by a localized cluster of nerves. Regional anesthesia may be performed alone, however, it is often combined with general sedation for optimal comfort and relaxation during and after the procedure.
Side-Effects and Complications Related to Anesthesia:
It is common for patients to be reluctant to commit to a surgical procedure due to fear of the anesthesia. In many cases, patients considering cosmetic surgery will express an even greater concern about the risks of anesthesia than the actual surgery itself. However, anesthesia that is administered under the care of a board-certified anesthesiologist is considered to be safe and very effective.
Common Side-Effects of Anesthesia Include:
- Temporary confusion and memory loss
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Difficulty passing urine
- Bruising and tenderness where IV was placed
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chills, shivering
- Sore throat
The different forms of anesthesia can result in short-lived side-effects. They will generally resolve on their own, over the first day or two. Many patients will feel disoriented, groggy, and a little confused when waking up from general anesthesia. This is particularly true for older adults. Some other common side-effects can include a sore throat, chills, and constipation. While more serious complications are less common, they can occur. These include abnormal heartbeat, increase or decrease in blood pressure, and breathing problems.
To ensure a safe procedure, patients should openly discuss any known allergies to anesthesia or presenting conditions with their surgeon and anesthesiologist during the consultation appointment. Keep in mind, even though many of these facts may seem innocent, they can pose a serious risk when under the effects of anesthesia.
Before going under anesthesia, tell your doctor about:
- All current and past health conditions
- Any prescription medications you are taking
- All over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and herbal remedies that you currently take or have taken in the past
- Known allergies to food, environment, latex, and medications
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Use of recreational drugs
- A family history of reactions to anesthesia
The safety of anesthesia has significantly improved over the years, thanks to game-changing advances in technology and medicine, as well as the extensive training anesthesiologists receive. The more informed a patient is regarding their surgical procedure and the options in anesthesia, the calmer and more reassured they will be, ensuring a smoother surgery and easier recovery.
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery teams with the finest anesthesiology providers in Houston, offering the highest level of competence and safety available. In addition to years of surgical experience, our anesthesiologists are board-certified members of specialized medical societies such as the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the Texas Medical Association (TMA), and the Texas Society of Anesthesiologists (TSA).
The Importance of a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist
It is extremely important that a board-certified anesthesiologist is the one to administer your general anesthesia, both for comfort and safety. Holding board certification from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) ensures the anesthesiologist has received years of specialized training, enabling them to carefully monitor your situation, before, during, and after the operation.
A board-certified anesthesiologist’s job will include:
- Monitoring your bodily functions and vital signs (including breathing, heart rate and rhythm, body temperature, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels)
- Manage the level of sedation
- Ensure you remain comfortable and calm before, during, and after surgery
- Slowly and safely bring you out of the anesthesia after your operation
- Address any problems that may arise during surgery
The ABA board certification exam is offered through the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). This certification shows the public that the anesthesiologist is a specialist dedicated to achieving superior clinical outcomes, holding a professional commitment to the ABA’s stringent code of ethics. To become board certified by the ABA, a candidate must be a graduate of an accredited college, successfully finish an accredited internship or residency, submit 25 anesthesia case reports within 12 months of the certification application, and submit multiple letters of recommendation. Finally, the anesthesiologist will need to pass a rigorous oral and written exam, given over a four day period. Over the years, the anesthesiologist must continue to pass recertification examinations, complete annual continuing education credits, and provide an exemplary level of patient care. The ABA provides a helpful tool to determine if your anesthesiologist is board certified.
If you have any questions about your anesthesia options, call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.484.0088 or fill out our online Contact Us form. Our patient coordinators will be happy to explain all of your options and assist in scheduling a consultation appointment. More patient information regarding anesthesia can be found on the ASA website.