Fear of Going to Sleep: The Risk of General Anesthesia


I guess the most common thing that I
hear is people are afraid of going to sleep and being out of control why do we
put people to sleep well most of the things that we do
really involve local anesthesia in other words they involve the administration of
local anesthetic lidocaine narcain with a vasoconstrictor epinephrine into the
tissue so that people don’t feel it and they don’t bleed and we do that usually with
needles and so we give general anesthesia when we’re doing a lot of
that type of local anesthesia so that it doesn’t hurt if we’re just taking off a
mole it’s no big deal we’re not going to use general anesthesia we’ll just use
our local but if we’re doing a facelift or doing a liposuction tummy tuck breast
surgery it’s nice to put people to sleep because that local anesthesia can be
really uncomfortable when you go to sleep there’s the concern about not
waking up there’s different ways of doing anesthesia and a lot of the horror
stories you hear about anesthesia are done on people that are really kind of
sick to begin with right so overall the statistic that I’ve heard is is that one
in 13,000 people is a landmark study done in 2000 1 in 13,000 people that go to
sleep have problems with it now that’s done overall in a huge study and those
are a lot of sick people and generally people that have cosmetic surgery are
young and healthy and even if they’re older we make sure they’re healthy we
take this really really really seriously this is the the the most important thing
we do is that our surgery be safe and the people wake up from the anesthesia
and so before we ever put people to sleep we make sure they’re healthy that
will reduce that 1 to 13,000 number 2 gosh one and half a million of people
having problems and that’s just a very acceptable risk even so one and a half a
million right that’s still a lot so what do we do to minimize the chances of a
problem even in that really low case scenario well first of all all of our
anesthetist are extraordinarily experienced most are military they’ve
been through Afghan Wars they’ve been through other situations where they’ve
been on their own and had to deal with situations that are really very delicate
and difficult we always have two of them available even if there’s only one
surgery going alone we have four on staff all the time and they know where
everything is everything can happen in a heartbeat
we have Four plastic surgeons always available to help should something go
wrong there’s a hospital down the street but we’ve never really taken people
there it’s available if we need them we have transfer privileges but we’ve never
had an anaesthetic emergency where we’ve had to take somebody to the hospital
it’s around if we need it and it’s a nice backup but we’ve always been able
to handle every issue that’s happened here they generally fall into the minor
categories airway issues etc and what’s really great about our surgeries is we
can always back out their elective and if something really ever happens where
we’re concerned about being able to manage an airway or would see something
that seems unusual we’ll stop the surgery and get it worked out and this
is a very rare occurrence this happens once every couple of years so patient
safety anesthesia safety it’s a huge concern we’re always on top of it it’s
it’s really something that we just take incredibly seriously go ahead and hit
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