General vs Local Anesthesia: Which is Better For My Surgery?

General vs Local Anesthesia: Which is Better For My Surgery?

If you’re getting cosmetic surgery at Northeastern Plastic Surgery in Florham Park, New Jersey, you can expect to get some type of anesthesia to ensure you experience no discomfort during the procedure. The two types of anesthesia we use are local and general anesthesia.

Our recommendation for the type of anesthesia you receive depends on several factors. Understand from board-certified plastic surgeon Joseph Fodero, MD, PA, the two types of anesthesia and which types are best for your surgery.

What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia is a combination of medicines that works by numbing some or all of your body. It blocks nerve sensory signals that normally communicate pain to your brain.

The different types of anesthesia keep you from temporarily feeling pain during a medical procedure. Once anesthesia wears off, your body begins to respond to pain again as it did previously.

How anesthesia is administered depends on the type used. Local anesthesia is usually performed by the clinician performing your procedure, while a trained anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia.

What is local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia works by only numbing a certain part of your body, such as a part of your face or your foot. You’ll be able to feel pressure on that part of the body but won’t experience any pain.

The rest of your body is unaffected by local anesthesia. You are fully awake and responsive throughout the procedure.

Local anesthesia generally has few to no side effects. You might experience slight pain while the anesthetic is initially administered and a mild tingle in the local area as it wears off a few hours later.

What is general anesthesia?

Unlike local anesthesia, general anesthesia impacts the entire body and causes unconsciousness during the medical procedure.

Once general anesthesia is administered through a mask or IV, you fall asleep very quickly. An anesthesiologist monitors you throughout the procedure to ensure your comfort and safety.

When Dr. Fodero completes the surgery, the anesthesiologist stops administering the anesthesia. You slowly and gently wake up.

General anesthesia is very safe but has a few more potential side effects than local anesthesia. It can cause you to feel nauseous or vomit, dizzy, and temporarily confused after you wake up.

Choosing the right type of anesthesia

Dr. Fodero usually recommends anesthesia based on the type of procedure you’re getting. For smaller, more local procedures focused on one part of your body, he usually suggests local anesthesia.

Procedures often performed under local anesthesia include:

On the other hand, he requires general anesthesia for more complicated, longer procedures and procedures encompassing a larger part of your body. Examples of this include:

General anesthesia is also often the better choice if you’re combining several procedures at once or getting a procedure like liposuction on a larger part of your body. You can also sometimes choose general anesthesia if you prefer to be asleep during a medical procedure.

In your pre-surgical consultation, our team carefully explains the type of anesthesia you should use and what to expect from the anesthesia and recovery process. This allows you to have any questions answered well before the day of surgery.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you’re considering plastic surgery.

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