What Makes Anesthesia Riskier?


For some people, the idea of surgery is less daunting than the notion of being anesthetized. But the truth is, anesthesia is safer now than it’s ever been.

The vast majority of people react very well to anesthesia. And for many procedures – plastic surgery included – you wouldn’t want to be without it.

That said, there is always going to be some level of risk. And what makes anesthesia riskier comes down to the patient’s age, current medical conditions, lifestyle, and the type of surgery and kind of anesthesia used.

What Are the General Risks?

If you’ve ever had a cavity drilled at the dentist, then you’ve had anesthesia. Of course, unless you requested otherwise, the doctor used a local anesthetic that only numbed a small area of the body. As such, it is the safest anesthetic and plastic surgeons will always opt for it if they can.  Side effects are rare and extremely mild.

Regional anesthesia is a little riskier than local in that it numbs a larger area of the body. Side effects are a little more common than they are with a local anesthesia, but they mostly consist of a temporary headache.

General anesthesia is the sort that most patients fear because it renders you unconscious. Even so, it’s very safe. The possible side effects – such as chills, confusion, nausea, or a sore throat (mostly from the breathing tube) are more widespread. But they are also temporary.

What Makes Anesthesia Riskier For Some People?

Although anesthesia is generally safe and technology around it has come a long way, some patients are looking at a higher risk if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney problems
  • Lung conditions
  • Seizures or other neurological disorders
  • Sleep apnea
  • Allergies to or history of adverse reactions to anesthesia

In addition, if you regularly smoke and/or drink two or more alcoholic beverages per day, your risk also increases. If any of these apply to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have surgery though.

Find Peace of Mind By Talking to Your Anesthesiologist

You’re allowed to talk with the anesthesiologist who’s scheduled for your surgery. In fact, he or she will need to conduct a health assessment to learn all about your health history, medications you take, reactions to previous anesthesia, and lifestyle choices. This is to ensure you’ll get the safest and most optimal pain management and critical care.

The anesthesiologist may strongly advise you quit smoking, cut back (or eliminate) drinking, or lose weight (if the surgery isn’t urgent) before your procedure to lessen your risk. He/she can also inform you of what medications could exacerbate the anesthesia and advise other medications that will be safe.

Then he or she will create a plan around your specific condition and monitor you closely during the procedure. You can go into the surgery knowing that you won’t be ignored for even a second.

Don’t Let Fear of Anesthesia Keep You From Plastic Surgery!

Now that you know the nitty gritty on what makes anesthesia riskier and how truly safe it is, you can feel confident in opting for that plastic surgery procedure you’ve always wanted.

So don’t hesitate any longer.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation. And get ready for a more confident and self-assured YOU this summer!