Do I need to have GENERAL ANAESTHETIC for Upper Blepharoplasty?
I’m giving you is information that I discuss with my patients on a regular basis. For first of all, what are the different types of anesthetic that are available? Well, local anesthetic is defined by giving anesthetic just the localized area in which you’re treating. So, really it’s using a numbing agent which is local anesthetic just in the local area of the Upper Blepharoplasty in order to numb that area. And the equivalent in say dentistry would be just using local anesthetic around the teeth in order to numb the teeth. So, advantages of local anesthetic, we’ll come onto shortly.
What is general anesthetic, well, general anesthetic by definition means you’re unconscious during the surgery. So, this means that there are sophisticated machines that are looking after your breathing and there is anesthetist that is looking after your care. And during general anesthetic there is a tube that goes down your throat and air way and this ensure those machines and your breathing is, is well controlled. And this is a more, does require more recovery than other types of anesthetic and we’ll go on to talk about that, in terms of your experience in a moment. The other form, or third form of anesthetic is sedation anesthesia. And sometimes this is called twilight anesthesia.
This type of anesthetic essentially means you’re sleeping during your surgery. And by this it means that you’re breathing yourself, there are no machines regulating your breathing and you’re just sleeping, just like you’d sleep at night but it’s just enhanced by medications. And during this type of anesthetic all your natural protective reflexes are working normally and so, generally the recovery is faster and we’ll talk about how that works in a moment. So, let’s move on to what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different type of anesthetic. So, firstly when we are looking at local anesthetic well, by definition local anesthetic means you are awake and the numbing agent is applied just to that local area of the upper eyelid.
This is the advantages of this technique is, is that well, with local anesthetic, your recovery is very fast and you’ll absolutely would go home the same day, and you would go home very soon after the surgery is finished. The disadvantages are particularly if you are quite an anxious person, while you’re fully awake or fully conscious during the surgery. So, this may not be the ideal type of anesthetic if you’re particular anxious or a nervous person. In addition to that, if they’re other factors such as having, undergoing previous surgery, any scarring that may potentially affect the effectiveness of the local anesthetic. Well, then it may not be the ideal form of anesthetic for you.
Let’s, moving on to general anesthetic, well, general anesthetic is we define means you’re unconscious during the eyelid procedure. And so, there’re machines looking after your breathing, There is anesthetist looking after the care of the machine and you. And this tends to result in a longer recovery and on average recovery after general anesthetic maybe 4 to 6 hours. And quite a larger proposition of patients approximately 30% will have some feelings of nausea or sickness after general anesthetic and this is really a side effect of the general anesthetic.
Now, most patients will have some degree of a sore throat because during general anesthetic there is a tube that goes down your air way. Having said this, general anesthetic is a very safe form of anesthetic and has been used for many, many years and does result in complete unconsciousness during the surgery. And so, you will feel nothing and your surgery will proceed without any, any further issues. There is of course a third type of anesthetic, which is called sedation, also known as twilight anesthesia. And this is still not so commonly used like in the UK, but worldwide it is a more common form of anesthetic.
Because it has some of the advantages of, of general anesthetic and local anesthetic with a faster recovery. So, with sedation, you’re literally sleeping during the surgery, and so, you’re still breathing yourself, all your natural reflexes are working normally, but you’re sleeping. And so, this means that when the sedation is switched off, your recovery tends to be very fast. And generally most patients after sedation anesthesia can go home after literally half an hour. This is unlike general anesthetic where the recovery may be as long as 4 to 6 hours. And whereas with general anesthetic, if your recovery is 4 to 6 hours, you may have to stay overnight in a hospital. With sedation anesthesia there is really no chance of that, you will definitely go home on the same day.
The other advantage of sedation anesthesia is because being a mild form of anesthesia, the number of side effects is relatively small. And the, the proportion of patients who may feel nausea or sickness is generally less than one percent. So, has a much faster recovery and less side effects compared to general anesthetic. So, moving on, what is the best form of anesthetic for you? Well, undergoing upper blepharoplasty is a big decision for most patients and you want to have the best possible experience and care during that. And really any anesthetic should be tailored towards you as an individual to give you the fastest possible recovery and what suits your needs best.
The best form of anesthetic will differ somewhat depending on your personal circumstances. It will differ on the nature of your surgery and the complexity of your surgery. And if you need revision surgery and so on. Generally speaking with my patients, my preference for upper blepharoplasty is generally sedation anesthesia. I find that this gives patients a very, a pleasant experience because the sedation means that you’re fully relaxed and calm during the surgery.
But it also means that you have the best of both worlds, in that you have a fast recovery. You’ll definitely go home after the surgery and generally within half an hour. So, in summary, we’ve talked about the different types of anesthetic, we’ve talked about the different advantages and disadvantages of different anesthetic. And we’ve also talked about what may be the most ideal anesthetic for you. I hope this information has been useful for you.