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Cosmetic Surgery And Anaesthetic FAQ

Cosmetic Surgery And Anaesthetic FAQ

Leading Cosmetic Surgeon Wollongong – Anaesthetic And Anaesthesia Frequently Asked Questions

Dr Niro Sivathasan, One Of The Best Aesthetic Surgeons In Australia

Leading Cosmetic Surgeon Wollongong – Anaesthetic And Anaesthesia Frequently Asked Questions

Dr Niro Sivathasan, One Of The Best Aesthetic Surgeons In Australia

Anaesthesia, in terms of cosmetic surgery, is a combination of injected chemicals and gas administered to block out pain and to make the body completely insensitive to pain for the duration of surgical procedures.  It typically involves a loss of consciousness during any surgery.

GENERAL ANAESTHESIA

What Is General Anaesthsia?

This is a state of drug-induced unconsciousness or deep sleep, where support for your major airway is needed.  This is generally very safe, and is best administered by an experienced anaesthetist in an accredited/ licensed facility; however, every anaesthetic has a risk of complications and side effects (mostly temporary).

What Factors Affect The Risk Of Anaesthesia?

  • Those who are unwell (other illnesses) and/ or needing emergency procedures (with unknown variables) have a higher risk of complications.  Other risk factors include:

    • Being fat;
    • Being a smoker;
    • Length of the surgery;
    • Anatomical area of the surgery;
    • Being elderly and in frail health.

 

What Are The Common Side Effects Of A General Anaesthetic?

  • Nausea, vomiting, and headaches;
  • Sore lips and throat;
  • Blurred vision and dizziness;
  • Problems passing urine;
  • Chest infection.

 

What Are The Uncommon Side Effects Of A General Anaesthetic?

  • Muscle aches and pains;
  • Damage to teeth;
  • Damage to the voice box (larynx);
  • Epileptic seizures;
  • Very high temperature.

 

Should I Be Scared To Get A General Anaesthetic Due To The Very Small Risk Of A Serious Outcome?

No, we administer general anaesthetics to infants and to very old people, and modern anaesthesia is hugely more refined than in previous decades.

However, you must be aware that it is still possible to sustain:

  • Allergic reaction (leading to shock) due to the drugs;
  • Blood clots (deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) with associated sequelae;
  • Brain damage/ stroke.

… all of these ‘may’ result in death.

Life involves weighing up the pros and cons, and making a considered decision.  Never rush to proceed with elective surgery.

We frequently do not know how the body shall react to a drug, until it is given; this is not the fault of the anaesthetist or medical team.

That being said, the smallest risk of anaesthetic complication occurs when given by an experienced anaesthetist in a hospital setting.

    What Factors May Be Modified To Minimise The Risk Of Anaesthetic Complications?

    Being a poorly-controlled diabetic with heart disease (including uncontrolled blood pressure) and kidney disease, massively increases the risk of death due to a general anaesthetic.  

    However, the following are easily modifiable:

    • Drinking lots of water in the days preceding (running up to) surgery – so that you are not dehydrated;
    • Stopping smoking one month before surgery – smoking damages the lungs, and impairs the carriage of oxygen in blood;
    • Not drinking alcohol for two weeks before surgery – alcohol thins the blood and increases the risk of bleeding and bruising (which then increases the risk of infection and wound-breakdown);
    • Ideally, increasing the level of fitness in the months leading to surgery would allow some weight loss, and optimise blood circulation prior to the operation.

    What Should You NOT DO After A General Anaesthetic?

    • For the first 24 hours (1 day), do not sign any unnecessary legal documents;
    • For the first 48 hours (2 days), do not drive a car, do not operate complex machinery;
    • For the first 72 hours (3 days), do not drink alcohol;
    • It is advised that you have a responsible adult or carer with you, if you are not staying in hospital, for the first night after surgery.

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