Many patients considering plastic surgery have natural concerns about undergoing anesthesia. Fortunately, advances in monitoring equipment and anesthesia drugs have contributed to improved overall anesthesia safety. The risk of serious injury from anesthesia is statistically extremely low.
Patients undergoing procedures at one of the Poughkeepsie hospitals or surgicenters where we perform plastic surgeon have either general anesthesia or monitored sedation (called MAC anesthesia). Minor procedures such as small scar revisions or lesion excisions can be performed in our Poughkeepsie cosmetic surgery office under local anesthesia administered by one of our plastic surgeons and do not require an anesthesiologist or operating room.
Monitored sedation or MAC anesthesia is delivered intravenously to make you temporarily drowsy while local anesthesia is injected. While the local anesthesia will keep you numb at the surgical site, you will also be sedated to avoid anxiety or restlessness. Your vital signs will be monitored and supplemental oxygen supplied. Procedures often performed under MAC anesthesia include some eyelid procedures and small areas of liposuction.
General anesthesia uses a combination of inhaled gases and intravenous medications to render an individual unconscious and, thereby, pain free. It is necessary for more involved procedures such as facelifts, breast surgery, and body contouring procedures like liposuction or tummy tucks. Vital life functions such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation are monitored throughout the surgery.
Following surgery, patients are taken to the recovery room or post-anesthesia care unit where a nurse will continue to monitor vital signs and administer medications if necessary for pain control or nausea.
The more complex procedures such as breast reconstruction or abdominoplasty might require staying in the hospital instead of returning home the same day as your surgery. Your surgeon will discuss this with you at your preop visit. If your procedure requires a hospital stay, you will be cared for on a surgical unit with staff familiar with the specific post operative care that you will need.