Many people may not be willing to admit it, but a fear of general anesthesia is quite common. There is an unsettling notion about being knocked out, especially if you’ve seen the episode of Grey’s Anatomy where the patient never woke up from it. While the administration of general anesthesia is routine and the majority of patients experience almost zero negative side effects, there are still a number of benefits to undergoing a surgical procedure using local anesthesia instead.
What Is the Difference Between General and Local Anesthesia?
You might have heard the phrase, “Being put under.” This is in reference to general anesthesia. The process puts you into a deep sleep, so you feel no pain during your surgery and aren’t aware of what is happening around you. General anesthesia is required for more invasive surgical procedures.
Local anesthesia is when a numbing agent is applied to the treatment site. This prevents the patient from feeling any sensation in that specific area, including pain. Patients do, however, remain conscious throughout the procedure.
Benefits of Local Anesthesia
While general anesthesia isn’t dangerous, there are cases where people have negative reactions to the process. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, shivering, and sleepiness. Even though these aren’t serious side effects, many patients choose to avoid them when possible. Local anesthesia doesn’t have any of these associated side effects. The most common side effect of local anesthesia is swelling and mild bruising at the administration site.
The larger incentive to opt for local anesthesia is probably the fact that it costs less than general anesthesia. A registered anesthesiologist is required to administer general anesthesia, which usually involves an additional fee, in addition to the surgery center fee. Forgoing general anesthesia, if possible, results in a faster recovery and lower financial cost to the patient.
Procedures Performed Under Local Anesthesia
At Élan Institute for Plastic Surgery, we offer a number of plastic surgery procedures that can be performed safely and comfortably under local anesthesia. However, not all patients will qualify for the use of local anesthesia, especially when the necessary work is extensive or invasive. Procedures that can potentially be performed under local anesthesia include:
If you are interested in having a plastic surgery procedure performed under local anesthesia, schedule your consultation to see if you are a qualifying candidate today. Contact our office by calling 714-834-0101, or fill out our online contact form here form more information.