Many plastic surgery patients are concerned over the use of anesthesia during their procedure. From our experience, the biggest area of concern is often whether we will “put you under,” meaning general anesthesia. Most patients prefer to be awake during their procedure. However, some may fear the opposite and would rather be completely out during surgery. We are here to reassure you. Advancements in anesthesia methods allow us to perform almost any plastic surgery procedure without general anesthesia. In almost all cases we use a method called IV sedation. It allows us to sedate you as much or as little as you prefer, depending on the type of surgery. Your level of sedation can range from none or very mild for procedures like liposuction to something very close to general anesthesia where you are technically awake but not aware of what is happening to you.
What Is “Awake” Plastic Surgery with IV Sedation?
Let’s say you have a consultation with your plastic surgeon about a breast augmentation. When he talks about IV sedation for your procedure, he means that you are placed under intravenous (IV) sedation while the area to be operated on is numbed with a local anesthetic. This lets you stay sedated but awake during the surgery, allowing you to relax and be comfortable. Whereas with general anesthesia your entire body would be temporarily paralyzed, requiring you to need a breathing tube, with IV sedation your body remains fully functional but extremely relaxed.
Advantages of IV Sedation
Most patients find that this type of awake plastic surgery improves their experience. In addition, there are several more advantages of IV Sedation:
- Faster recovery after plastic surgery
- Reduced risk during plastic surgery
- Affordable plastic surgery
The local anesthetic puts your body under much less stress than general anesthesia would. Fewer drugs are needed, allowing your body to recover much faster, and you get to walk out of the doctor’s office on your own. Your recovery time is reduced to 3-5 days from as much as 2 weeks. Minimally-Invasive procedures like liposuction can be performed without sedation, allowing for an even faster recovery, but it is entirely up to the patients and their preference. No matter what surgery, there are certain risk factors associated with general anesthesia, because it puts stress on hour heart and lungs. Plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentations and tummy tucks are very commonplace and carry few risks, but you can reduce any remaining risk further by choosing IV sedation over general anesthesia. And because IV sedation does not require a hospital environment, it is also more economical for the patient.
Your Plastic Surgery at NuBody Concepts
At NuBody Concepts we firmly believe that every patient is unique and merits a unique approach to plastic surgery. This is why we give you options when it comes to the level of anesthesia for your procedure. Our main goal is always to make the procedures as safe and easy for you as possible, while making sure that you get the results you want. Our team takes pride in our patients’ consistent results over the years. We are particularly known for less invasive solutions, allowing our patients to have a fast recovery and return to your regular activities with as little interruption as possible. However you would like to shape and contour your body, it can almost certainly be done in a way that keeps you comfortable, safe, and awake. If you are unsure what’s best for your breast augmentation, tummy tuck, face lift, mommy makeover, liposuction, or other type of body contouring, schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. We are here to answer all your questions.