The advantages of undergoing a surgical procedure under local anaesthetic

Posted on the 22 March 2017 at 14:44

There can be many advantages to undergoing surgical procedures, such as blepharoplasty (eye lift), under local anaesthetic. Although local anaesthetic creams, gels and sprays are available for certain minor procedures, for surgery we use an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area to be operated on. You may feel a little discomfort as the injection is being given, but during the procedure you will of course feel no pain in the treated area at all, and it will feel completely numb. As the anaesthetic wears off, post-procedure, you may feel a slight tingling and there may be minor bleeding or bruising at the site of the injection, but depending on the amount of local anaesthetic administered, the numb sensation will wear off within 90 minutes.

The advantages of undergoing some cosmetic, surgical procedures in this way are as follows:

  • Most obviously, the patient remains awake and alert during the procedure. Only the area to be operated on is numbed so that the patient feels no pain.
  • Generally, no special preparation is required prior to a local anaesthetic.
  • Local anaesthetic enables active input from the patient in procedures such as dimple creation, ear correction, areola or nipple reduction, or dermal fillers.
  • A wide range of cosmetic and corrective procedures can be performed under local anaesthetic, which means that the surgery is more affordable.
  • Having a procedure under local anaesthetic is far more cost effective than undergoing a general anaesthetic for the operation, which would necessitate the presence of an anaesthetist, as well as a stay in hospital, resulting in a higher cost for the operation.
  • There is no need to ‘starve’ beforehand. If the patient wishes, they can eat a light meal before the procedure and have something to drink.
  • Similarly, they may eat and drink immediately after the procedure. If the procedure is in the mouth then it is of course advisable to wait until the local anaesthetic has worn off before eating or drinking.
  • The patient may choose a favourite piece of music to be played in the operating room during the procedure. This will help to distract the patient and keep their mind busy during an unusual situation.
  • Monitoring the patient immediately after the operation is far simpler than would be the case if the patient has had a general anaesthetic.
  • Often the patient can be back to their normal routine within two hours of the procedure.

I perform a variety of operations in this way, and suggest it as an option to many of my patients.

 

Blepharoplasty performed under local anaesthesia

Blepharoplasty (eye lift) being performed under local anaesthetic.

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