You will recall the moments prior to the anesthetic and as you wake up. Throughout the procedure, you will be completely asleep and won’t feel anything, hear anything, or remember anything.
Twilight sleep is a type of anesthesia where the patient is asleep but has not undergone general anesthesia. It is a lighter type of sedation and is completely effective in blocking pain and awareness of surgical procedures. We will discuss the specific approach for your procedure—whether twilight sleep or general anesthesia—with you and your anesthesia provider.
Whether or not a patient needs to be intubated depends on the procedure, as well as the anesthesiologist and our recommendations.
Scientific advances in patient safety have made the risks associated with anesthesia very low. At our surgical facility, the most common side effects of anesthesia are mild nausea and a sore throat.
The anesthesiologists at Cassileth Plastic Surgery are all doctors and very experienced in the field. They work to ensure that you are as safe and comfortable as possible. They contact you prior to surgery to introduce themselves to you and learn more about you. In the pre-operative room, they will chat with you while they place an IV (our patients report that they feel just a slight pinprick during this process). Once in the operating room, the general anesthetic is administered, and you will be constantly monitored through the procedure and as you wake up.
There are two main types of anesthesia used in the outpatient setting. For both types of anesthesia, the patient is completely asleep. The type of anesthesia is based on the recommendations of the surgical team and is uniquely tailored to each patient and procedure.
We will instruct you to avoid certain medications and supplements that can impede healing, such as aspirin or Plavix. During your pre-surgery appointment, we’ll ask you to inform the clinical team of the medications and any herbal supplements you are taking so that you can be advised on how to prepare for your surgery. Patients should continue on their regular medication as directed by their primary care physician.
Avoid alcohol and smoking before surgery or for as long as you have been advised during your pre-surgery appointment. Smoking can interfere with healing and can increase the chances for infection.
Most patients are awake within 30 minutes to an hour.
If you are going home after your surgery, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you. If you are going to a recovery facility, their driver will pick you up. Do not drive for at least 24 hours after your surgery, and, if taking pain medication, wait until you have finished taking the prescribed pain medication.
We hope that the answers to these frequently asked questions about anesthesia have been helpful and reassuring in preparing you for your surgery. Be sure to check out our other patient resources. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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