How Long is it Safe to be Under Anesthesia During a Facial Procedure?


How Long is it Safe to be Under Anesthesia During a Facial Procedure?

General anesthesia is a concern for many patients. Although you have likely reconciled with the many questions that come along with cosmetic surgery, as the procedure day approaches it is not uncommon for patients to worry about “going under” while the surgery takes place. While the patient is not awake during the procedure, any type of surgery that requires general anesthesia is more than just putting the patient into a deep sleep. In fact, general anesthesia is essentially a medically induced coma with drugs administered through an IV line. It is super important to be sure you are in the hands of a board-certified surgeon, an accredited surgical facility with emergency protocol and a well-trained, highly experienced anesthesiologist.

During a surgical procedure, general anesthetics work throughout the central nervous system and affect various parts temporarily. These include the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that is responsible for your attention, memory and perception, reticular activating system (the part of the brain that regulates the cycles of being asleep and awake), the thalamus (the part of the brain that relays information from the senses to the brain) and the spinal cord (responsible for relaying information back and forth from the brain and the rest of the body).

How long is it safe to be under anesthesia for a facial procedure? While undergoing surgery that can last from 6 to 12 hours is considered safe, cosmetic surgeons rarely keep their patients under general anesthesia any longer than 5 hours. Most complex surgeries do not require any more than 3 to 4 hours of anesthesia. A standard facelift surgery can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Although these are standard timelines, the type of anesthesia recommended for you will be recommended based off a review of your overall health, genetics and the suitably for your procedure. Local anesthesia (mild sedative) and twilight sedation (medium sedative) are various alternatives to general anesthesia that may be available depending upon what type of surgery you are having done. General anesthesia (heavy sedative) is most common for cosmetic procedures that require longer surgery times, have significant amounts of blood loss, exposure to a cold environment and procedures that impact breathing. General anesthesia is considered safe, is supervised by the anesthesiologist for the duration, and allows patients to go through surgery without feeling the intense pain and pressure involved in the details of surgery.

At David W. Allison, MD, your safety is of our top concern. Our surgeons will sculpt and contour your body with harmonious, long-lasting, natural results while prioritizing your safety and ensuring the highest quality of care. Fill out an inquiry form here WEBSITE or call our office team at 703-754-8228 to schedule a surgical consultation. 

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