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Anesthesia – General vs. Local

If you’re considering any kind of surgery, chances are you’ll also hear about anesthesia. You may be surprised to know, however, there are several different types and options when it comes to anesthesia.

First, it is important to understand why anesthesia is necessary. While some simple medical procedures are relatively pain-free, surgery itself without any anesthesia can be a painful and invasive process. Because of this, anesthesia plays a big role, allowing the area or the whole body to numb so that the patient does not feel pain and the surgeon is able to perform without any issue.

General Anesthesia

When it comes to surgeries, the most common type of anesthesia is called general anesthesia. This is usually given through an IV or can be inhaled as a gas or vapor. When people refer to “going under,” this is what they are talking about as you will generally be motionless throughout the entire operation. You will be instructed not to eat anything the night prior to the surgery. This is to ensure your stomach is empty during the procedure and you do not run the risk of vomiting and getting food into your system.

There is also a steep cost involved and often requires a dedicated anesthesiologist as well as your surgeon. Because you were sedated during the procedure, upon awaking, you will also have no recollection of what just happened during your procedure.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Local Anesthesia

While general anesthesia numbs your whole body and puts you to sleep, another type of anesthesia is local anesthesia, which some patients find less invasive. This is usually given as shot and it numbs only a specific area. Because you are not sedated, you will be awake for your procedure and will be able to move around if needed. You also can eat a nice breakfast beforehand, as there is not a danger of having a full stomach like there is with general anesthesia.


At Dr. Kaplan’s office, we prefer to use local anesthesia with our cosmetic procedures, which sets us apart from other surgeons. It is a lower cost for you and there are less complications. No matter where your surgery is performed, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the anesthesia process and consider all of your options.

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