Plastic Surgery and Anaesthesia in Nigeria
Plastic surgery is a special type of surgery that can change a person’s appearance and ability to function.
Reconstructive procedures correct defects on the face or body. These include physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from dog bites or burns, or the aftermath of disease treatments like rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer.
Cosmetic (also called aesthetic) procedures alter a part of the body that the person is not satisfied with. Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction)
Like most people planning plastic surgery, you arrived at the decision after plenty of thought and research. This means you’ve probably considered what type of anesthesia is appropriate (General or Local Anesthesia) for you with the help of the plastic surgeon.
Factors that can influence the choice of Anesthesia are:
*Patient’s Health Status
*History of reactions to the drugs used
*The Height of the patient
*The Age of the patient
*The Weight of the patient
*The procedure to be carried out.
It requires years of training to assess these factors and make the safest choice for the individual patient’s needs.
When talking about Plastic Surgery and Anaesthesia in Nigeria, there are two major considerations…
Local anesthesia or general anesthesia can be safe choices for most patients. It is important that patients consult with a qualified plastic surgeon so the choices that will lead to the best outcome can be made.
Today, many types of surgery can be safely and painlessly performed while you are awake. Local anesthesia, also called local anesthetic, is usually a one-time injection of medicine that numbs a small area of the body. It is used for procedures such as performing a skin biopsy or breast biopsy, repairing a broken bone, or stitching a deep cut. You will be awake and alert, and you may feel some pressure, but you won’t feel pain in the area being treated.
Local anesthesia simply means that only the area that will have the procedure is numbed and the patient is awake. This is achieved with injections to the surgical site prior to the start of surgery.
General anaesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness. During a general anaesthesia, medicines are used to send you to sleep, so you’re unaware of surgery and do not move or feel pain while it’s carried out.
General anaesthesia is used for surgical procedures where it’s safer or more comfortable for you to be unconscious. It’s usually used for long operations or those that would otherwise be very painful.
It’s not clear exactly how it works, but it’s known that all anaesthesia stop the nerves from passing signals to the brain. This means you do not feel anything.
How general anaesthesia are given
Before having an operation, you’ll meet a specialist doctor called an anaesthetist to discuss which anaesthetic is most suitable for you.
This is called a preoperative assessment, when the anaesthetist will:
*Discuss the type or types of anaesthetic that are suitable for you
explain the risks of anaesthesia
agree a plan with you for your anaesthetic and pain control afterwards
*The anaesthetist will look at your medical history and ask whether anyone in your family has had problems with anaesthesia. They’ll also ask about your general health and lifestyle, including whether you:
have any allergies
smoke or drink alcohol
are taking any other medicine
The anaesthetist can answer any questions you have. Let them know if you’re unsure about any part of the procedure or if you have any concerns. You should be given clear instructions to follow before the operation, including whether you can eat or drink anything in the hours leading up to it.
Before and during your operation
Just before you have surgery, you’ll usually be taken to a room where your anaesthetist will give you the general anaesthetic.
It will either be given as a:
Liquid that’s injected into your veins through a cannula (a thin, plastic tube that feeds into a vein, usually on the back of your hand)
Gas that you breathe in through a mask
The anaesthetic should take effect very quickly. You’ll start feeling lightheaded, before becoming unconscious within a minute or so.
How you prepare
General anesthesia relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract and airway that keep food and acid from passing from your stomach into your lungs. Always follow your doctor’s instructions about avoiding food and drink before surgery.
Discuss your medications with your doctor.You may need to avoid some medications, such as aspirin and some other over-the-counter blood thinners, for at least a week before your procedure. Discuss the types of dietary supplements you take with your doctor before your surgery.
If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about any changes to your medications during the fasting period. Usually you won’t take oral diabetes medication the morning of your surgery. If you take insulin, your doctor may recommend a reduced dose.
If you have sleep apnea, discuss your condition with your doctor. The anesthesiologist or anesthetist will need to carefully monitor your breathing during and after your surgery.
What you can expect with Plastic Surgery and Anaesthesia in Nigeria
Before the procedure
Before you undergo general anesthesia, your anesthesiologist will talk with you and may ask questions about:
Your health history
Your prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements
Your past experiences with anesthesia
This will help your anesthesiologist choose the medications that will be the safest for you.
During the procedure
Your anesthesiologist usually delivers the anesthesia medications through an intravenous line in your arm. Sometimes you may be given a gas that you breathe from a mask.
Once you’re asleep, the anesthesiologist may insert a tube into your mouth and down your windpipe. The tube ensures that you get enough oxygen and protects your lungs from blood or other fluids, such as stomach fluids. You’ll be given muscle relaxants before doctors insert the tube to relax the muscles in your windpipe.
The anesthesia care team monitors you continuously while you sleep. He or she will adjust your medications, breathing, temperature, fluids and blood pressure as needed. Any issues that occur during the surgery are corrected with additional medications, fluids and, sometimes, blood transfusions.
After the procedure
When the surgery is complete, the anesthesiologist reverses the medications to wake you up. You’ll slowly wake either in the recovery room. You may experience common side effects such as:
You may also experience other side effects after you awaken from anesthesia, such as bearable pain. Side effects depend on your individual condition and the type of surgery. Your doctor may give you medications after your procedure to reduce pain and nausea.
Depending on your procedure, you’ll usually need to stay in hospital for a few hours to a few days after your operation.
General anaesthetics can affect your reflexes for a day or two, so it’s important for a responsible adult to stay with you for at least 24 hours after your operation, if you’re allowed to go home. You’ll also be advised to avoid driving, drinking alcohol and signing any legal documents for 24 to 48 hours.
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