Mr Karri is one of few plastic surgeons in the UK who performs major plastic surgery procedures under local anaesthetic with sedation.
Many patients have concerns about general anaesthesia, notably the post-operative nausea, headaches, sore throat and generalised weakness, and are keen to avoid them at all costs. From a surgical perspective, general anaesthetic can also exacerbate bleeding resulting in more bruising and prolonged recovery. Local anaesthetic with sedation avoids these unpleasant side effects and allows patients to undergo plastic surgery in comfort and safety.
What Is Local Anaesthetic?
Local anaesthetics work by temporarily blocking the way your nerves carry pain signals to your brain. After injection into an area, the area quickly becomes numb and surgery may proceed. In some cases, regional anaesthesia may be preferred. This involves injecting local anaesthetic around specific nerves that supply the area to be operated on. Regional anaesthesia, also known as nerve block, is performed by our anaesthetist Dr Reg Edwards using ultrasound guidance to identify and accurately inject local anaesthetic around the nerves. Only after the area is completely numb will Mr Karri start the surgery. It is important to appreciate local anaesthetic prevents pain but you may still feel pressure and movement.
What Is Sedation?
Sedation is a way of using drugs, known as sedatives, to make you feel less anxious and relaxed. Sedation is not a general anaesthetic and you will not be unconscious. You may not remember much of what happens during the procedure and this is quite normal. As sedation does not block the nerves in the same way as local anaesthetic, local anaesthetic is given as well. There are different types of sedatives and the one chosen for you depends on the nature of the surgery and your anxiety level. For patients who do not wish to be awake during their surgery, intravenous sedation is performed. Although you will be asleep, you will still be breathing on your own and will wake up as soon as the sedation is turned off. Intravenous sedation is commonly performed, comfortable and very safe.
During any sedation your oxygen saturation and heart rate will be constantly monitored using a non-invasive monitor, known as a pulse oximeter. You may also receive extra oxygen either through a nasal cannula or mask.
Patients are often surprised to learn that many facial, breast and body contouring procedures can be safely undertaken under local anaesthetic with sedation at The Karri Clinic. This is one of the many reasons patients choose to have their surgery with us.