Look Ma, No General Anesthesia

female doctor in sterile gloves preparing lady hand for IV infusionFor his surgical procedures, Dr. Barrera uses a combination of IV sedation and local anesthesia. Patients often have misconceptions about this, so let’s get into this a bit for this cool January blog of the new year.

Why IV sedation?

Whereas many surgeons opt to have patients under general anesthesia during their surgeries, Dr. Barrera feels IV sedation combined with local anesthesia is a better option. The sedation is similar to the person taking a light nap, and it provides these additional benefits:

  • Safer for the patient than being put under general anesthesia
  • Eliminates the risk for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus
  • Faster recovery time
  • Typically, no nausea or vomiting after surgery

Because we don’t have to provide outside breathing assistance, as is necessary with general anesthesia, patients don’t have to be intubated. The avoidance of a breathing tube improves the overall experience for the patient, as they don’t have the usual sore throat for a couple days after their surgery.

IV sedation is very effective and completely safe. The dosing and depth of sedation can be adjusted continually to achieve the desired level of relaxation throughout the procedure.

No pain, lots to gain

Patients can mistakenly assume that because they are not under general anesthesia that they will feel some pain during their surgery, but this not true in the least. Patients have no feelings of pain during their surgery. Plus, Dr. Barrera often adds a long-acting local anesthetic (EXPAREL), which allows the patient to return home soon after the procedure and with minimal or no pain at all.

What do you feel like after IV sedation?

You’ll feel a little sleepy for several hours after your treatment. You’ll need to have someone drive you to and from your surgery. We also recommend having someone remain with you the rest of the day, as you may need some assistance getting out of bed or to use the bathroom during the first day.

Interested in having Dr. Barrera perform a cosmetic procedure for 2022? Call us at (713) 468-5200 to schedule a consultation.

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