The most common fear that most patients have with cosmetic surgery usually does not involve the surgery itself. Instead, most prospective patients are concerned with risks associated with anesthesia. But while no procedure is risk-free, advances in anesthesia care have made it extremely safe when performed in an accredited facility by a trained anesthesiologist or anesthetist.
And, depending upon what type of procedure you are having, Dr. Buford will speak with you about the relative risks and benefits of each form of anesthesia along with what he recommends. For breast augmentation, general anesthesia is most commonly used and is extremely safe. Unfortunately, some practitioners prey on patient fears and actually suggest that other forms of anesthesia, such as IV sedation, are much safer. No studies have ever documented this and so be wary of marketing that suggests that another practitioner has a much safer alternative to general anesthesia.
Like most experienced Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Buford prefers General Anesthesia for breast augmentation procedures involving an implant. First, this type of anesthesia often tends to be a more predictable and allows for relaxation of your chest muscles during surgery. When they relax, the implant more easily settles into its desired pocket and the dissection tends to be smoother. Finally, unlike IV sedation where there may be fluctuations in the depth of anesthesia, General Anesthesia establishes a deeper and often more predictable relaxation.
In addition to general anesthesia, Dr. Buford performs an Intercostal Nerve block, once you are asleep. This essentially blocks pain signals from your breast to your brain. Think of it like putting your cell phone on mute; you can talk but the other person cannot hear you. In much the same way, this highly effective procedure can block pain before it develops and potentially give you a much smoother and more comfortable recovery. Dr. Buford will also inject your breasts with numbing medicine and wash the tissue pocket (where the implant is placed) with numbing medicine. As a result of these additional steps, many of Dr. Buford’s breast augmentation patients require very little narcotics after their surgery and return to work in as few as 2-3 days.
Ready for a Consultation?
Please contact us with questions regarding anesthesia for breast augmentation surgery from our Denver, Colorado plastic surgeon. Dr. Gregory A. Buford will also be happy to discuss the anesthesia process in an initial consultation.