Anesthesia for Plastic Surgery can be summarized in two words: Comfort and Safety.
Let me address the issue of Safety first. There is only one standard for Safety during Anesthesia whether your surgery is being performed in a hospital or in a free- standing surgery center. In either place proper pre-operative evaluation, intra-operative monitoring and post-operative observation are necessary. The Anesthesiologist takes into consideration your general medical condition as well as the type and complexity of the procedure to decide on what pre-operative evaluation needs to be done. These factors also influence which monitors are used to keep you safe during the surgery. For example, a 25 year old woman having breast augmentation would need different lab studies than a 60 year old man with high blood pressure and a heavy smoking history having a facelift. The young woman would need only a minimal number of lab tests and a limited pre-operative physical exam by either the surgeon or anesthesiologist. On the other hand, the older man might need lab tests to check the minerals in his blood, a chest x-ray, an EKG and a focused evaluation by his regular doctor. Occasionally we will refer a patient to a Cardiologist, Hematologist or even an Allergist if preliminary studies show us an area of concern.
How do we ensure your Comfort? First, we have a professional approach to our responsibilities to you. We want you to entrust us with any worries about the Anesthesia plan. Second, we review the surgical plan, lab studies and any history and physical provided and then speak directly with you, the patient, pre-operatively. We will discuss in detail any prior anesthetics, your medication intake and what kind of anesthesia is appropriate for your case. We will review any of your desires, preconceptions and concerns. With your input, an anesthesia plan is decided upon. The morning of surgery, I prefer you to be completely alert to speak with the surgeon and to inspect any skin markings he might make, before I give you any sedation. This affords you an opportunity to ask the surgeon any last minute questions that have arisen since your last office visit. Next we make sure you are comfortable in your position on the operating table. Then the intravenous (IV) is started using local anesthesia and sedation is administered which relaxes you in as little as 15 seconds. We will then proceed to take you to the proper depth of anesthesia. We make every effort to keep you warm with special warm air circulators and monitoring of your body temperature. At the end, we stop the administration of the anesthetic and allow you to return to consciousness slowly and deliberately. Your stay in the recovery room is to allow you to continue to awaken to fully or almost fully alert, all the time checking on your blood pressure, breathing and treating any post-operative pain. Our surgical team has experienced Nurses and Technicians who can be relied upon to be sensitive and empathetic to your emotional needs as well as highly trained to address any and all medical issues.
Planning, preparation and experience allow us to provide for your Anesthetic needs as part of the whole picture of your emotional and physical well being during your procedure.