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Anesthesia FAQS

WILL I REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED?

You will recall the moments prior to the anesthetic and as you wake up. You will be completely asleep; you won’t feel anything, hear anything, or remember anything.

WHAT is twilight anesthesia?

Twilight sleep is a type of anesthesia wherein 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. The specific type of anesthesia for your procedure will be discussed with your plastic surgeon and anesthesia provider.

WILL I BE INTUBATED?

Whether or not a patient needs to be intubated depends on the procedure, and the surgeon’s and anesthesiologist’s recommendations. .

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ANESTHESIA?

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.

HOW IS ANESTHESIA PERFORMED?

The anesthesiologists at Cassileth Plastic Surgery are experts. They ensure that you are safe and comfortable. 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 place an IV (our patients report that they feel a slight pinprick). Once in the operating room, the general anesthetic is administered and you will be constantly monitored through the procedure and as you wake up.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF ANESTHESIA?

There are 2 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.

  • General anesthetic means that a breathing tube is placed after the patient is anesthetized through the IV catheter (this is called intubation). This type of anesthetic is very safe, and has changed greatly over the past several years. The patient will wake up quickly and feel refreshed.
  • Sedation is performed by an anesthesiologist and does not involve the placement of a breathing tube, but the patient is still fully asleep and unaware, as with a general anesthetic.

ARE THEY ANY PARTICULAR FOODS, MEDICATIONS, VITAMINS, THAT I SHOULD AVOID BEFORE HAVING AN ANESTHETIC?

Your surgeon will instruct you to avoid certain medications and supplements that can impede healing like 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 your doctor.

Avoid alcohol and smoking before surgery or for as long as you have been advised during your pre-surgery appointment. Smoking can interfere with wound healing and can increase the chances for infection.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COME OUT OF THE ANESTHETIC?

Most patients are awake within 30 minutes to an hour.

WHEN CAN I DRIVE AFTER ANESTHESIA?

Do not drive for 24 hours after your surgery or after stopping any pain medication that you will be given. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home or to your recovery facility after you have recovered and been discharged from the facility.

We hope that these answers to the frequently asked anesthesia questions have been helpful and reassuring in preparing you for your surgery and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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