The Safety Benefits of Local Anesthesia vs. General

In 1846, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital performed the world’s first successful surgery using ether to prevent pain during the operation. Since this historic milestone, anesthetics and techniques have continued evolving, giving physicians and patients additional options for a safer, more comfortable surgical experience. While general anesthesia is the first thing that may come to mind when you picture yourself having plastic surgery, it is not your only choice.

What Is General Anesthesia?

A doctor may recommend general anesthesia if you are undergoing a lengthy, complex procedure. It affects the entire body, making people unconscious and unaware of what’s going on around them. Patients who wake up from general anesthesia are usually groggy and have no memory of undergoing surgery. It is best if they do not drive or make any crucial decisions for at least 24 hours after the anesthesia’s effects wear off.

An anesthesiologist will monitor vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels to ensure patient safety during a procedure involving general anesthesia. However, being under anesthesia still carries some level of risk. For example, since surgeries requiring general anesthesia take place in a hospital or specialized clinic, they potentially expose patients to infection. 

Having any of the following conditions could increase your chances of experiencing complications from anesthesia.

  • Allergies to anesthetics or a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Lung conditions such as asthma and COPD
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Seizures or other neurological disorders
  • Smoking or drinking two or more alcoholic beverages per day

What Is Local Anesthesia?

Local anesthesia is typically safer than general anesthesia because it only numbs a specific area of your body. It allows you to remain awake and alert during your procedure instead of being fully unconscious.

Dr. Stephanie Teotia, a leading female plastic surgeon based in Flower Mound, TX, has developed comfortable, in-office facelift, neck lift, and blepharoplasty techniques that do not require general anesthesia. Instead, she uses a combination of local anesthesia and sedation with Pro-Nox™, which is a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide.

The Pro-Nox system allows you to manage your treatment by self-delivering the medical gas as needed to alleviate any anxiety you might feel. During your procedure, you will inhale the gas through a disposable mouthpiece, which will quickly take effect, producing a warm, relaxed feeling. You can choose how much gas you receive by inhaling additional doses as necessary to ensure you remain calm and pain-free throughout the procedure. 

Advantages of Local Anesthesia

Compared to traditional plastic surgeries, Dr. Teotia’s in-office facelift, neck lift, and blepharoplasty surgeries are more affordable and offer less risk of complications. You can enjoy being in a relaxed, comfortable setting while you remain in full control of any discomfort by breathing into the Pro-Nox mouthpiece whenever you feel the need. There is also less likelihood of post operative nausea using only local anesthesia.

Dr. Teotia’s skill and precision with in-office treatment techniques allow for a faster recovery time, while still delivering the outstanding results you deserve. These solutions are ideal for anyone with a busy schedule and multiple personal and professional responsibilities.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

When you are weighing your options for getting plastic surgery, it is understandable to have questions, concerns, and uncertainties. Dr. Teotia forms partnerships with her patients by building a foundation of mutual trust and open communication. 

During your private consultation, you can learn more about your options and candidacy for facial plastic surgery. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you look and feel your best.

*Please be aware that patients from out-of-state must travel to Texas to establish care due to medical licensing restrictions and that air travel may not be recommended following certain procedures for a minimum of three weeks following surgery.