Why We Use IV Sedation

When patients trust Dr. Barrera with their cosmetic surgery procedures, the goal is to rejuvenate the target area, but it is also to keep the patient as comfortable during the entire process. For that reason, he combines IV sedation with local anesthesia for his surgical procedures.

Why IV sedation?

This combination of IV sedation and local anesthesia is effective for removing any pain, but it also creates a nice environment for the patient. It is similar to taking a nap, rather than being fully knocked out with general anesthesia.

A primary benefit to IV sedation combined with local anesthesia is that we can move the patient to a desirable level of sleep state without having to intubate. Not having to insert a breathing tube improves the overall experience for the patient because they won’t have the typical sore throat caused by these tubes.

Another advantage is the ease of making adjustments to the dosing level and depth of sedation. Because the body isn’t in “deep sleep,” minor adjustments are instantly responded to in the body.

These are some additional benefits Dr. Barrera sees in this approach:

  • This combination is safer than general anesthesia
  • Eliminates the risk for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus
  • Faster recovery time
  • Typically no nausea or vomiting after surgery, which can happen with general anesthesia

Won’t I feel pain with just local anesthesia?

Patients sometimes assume they need to be “put under” to be fully immune to pain during surgery. This is not the case. With our combination of IV sedation and local anesthetic, you’ll feel nothing during your procedure. Dr. Barrera often adds a long-acting local anesthetic called Exparel to his procedures. This allows the patient to go home after their procedure with continuing pain relief, often feeling no pain at all for the entire first day home.

How will I feel after being under this combination of sedation?

Patients usually feel a little sleepy for several hours after their surgery and time in the recovery room. You’ll need someone to drive you home, and we recommend usually having someone stay with you for the first day after your surgery. You may need help getting in and out of bed and heading to the bathroom.

If you’re interested in any of the cosmetic surgeries performed by Dr. Barrera, we think you’ll love his combination of IV sedation and local anesthesia. Call us at (713) 468-5200 to schedule a consultation or with any questions you may have.

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