Anesthesia -- especially outpatient anesthesia
-- is safer and less stressful than ever. Newly
developed, short-acting anesthetic drugs and highly
specialized techniques give patients having ambulatory
(outpatient) surgery a lower risk of anesthesia-associated
problems and a shorter recovery time.
The type of anesthesia you receive will depend
on the procedure you have chosen. Most cosmetic
surgery is done in an outpatient setting. At the
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, cosmetic
surgery is often performed in the Ambulatory Procedure
Unit (APU). Only a few procedures require an overnight
Your plastic surgeon will discuss anesthesia
with you during your initial consultation. Before
your surgery, the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist
will evaluate your health and then make the decision
about which anesthesia to use.
You may have one of three types of anesthesia
Local anesthesia numbs the area where
the surgery will take place and wears off shortly
after the procedure.
Monitored anesthesia care (MAC) combines
sedation and anesthesia with continuous monitoring.
With this combination, the patient is more comfortable
and less prone to anxiety. An anesthesia provider,
solely dedicated to the care of the patient,
administers anesthesia care by continuously
monitoring the patient's vital signs and oxygen.
General anesthesia -- a state of controlled
unconsciousness with a loss of reflexes -- gives
the patient the sensation of falling asleep.
Anesthesiologists administer this type of anesthesia
and use advanced monitoring equipment to track
your major bodily functions and to ensure the
drugs are administered in the proper amounts.