What To Expect With Anesthesia

Depending on the kind of cosmetic procedure you've chosen to undergo, different levels of anesthesia may be administered. Although each one is intended to decrease pain sensitivity, they have varying side effects.

LOCAL
A topical cream will be applied to the treatment site or an injection will be administered in advance to numb only that area. Topical creams may cause some dryness or irritation. Injectable local anesthetic agents might cause localized swelling.

LOCAL WITH SEDATION
Conscious sedation or complete sedation involves either a local anesthetic administered topically or by injection, a nerve block via injection, or sedation drugs (such as Valium) administered through an IV or orally. With some forms of sedation, you may feel a bit dopey or nauseated. You should not drive for at least 24 hours after any form of sedation, nor should you be left without supervision.

REGIONAL
This injection eliminates pain in a larger area of the body. It blocks a group of nerves so the pain signal cannot reach the brain, such as with an epidural during childbirth. A regional may cause the target area to be weakened, affecting normal movement until the anesthetic wears off. You may experience numbness, tingling and some swelling in your extremities, depending on the area treated.

GENERAL
The patient is given a drug that brings about a reversible loss of consciousness so that one is unable to experience pain. The anesthesia is most often administered via inhalation and can be used with or without controlled breathing through a tube in the throat. You awake feeling like you've been in a deep sleep. Your throat might be sore, and you may feel nauseated, shaky or light-headed. Many patients believe that anesthesia causes skin to feel dry, so staying well-hydrating in the 48 hours following treatment isn't only helpful, but important no matter how you're feeling.