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Rhinoplasty – Anaesthesia Options

Rhinoplasty can be performed under different types of anaesthesia, such as local anaesthesia, conscious sedation and general anaesthesia. Each option has its respective merits and demerits, including variations in awareness levels, side effects, risks and costs. As rhinoplasty is usually an elective, non-emergent procedure, ENT surgeons usually advise pre-operative testing to determine the suitability of the patient for different types of anaesthesia. In most cases, patients who are in good general health are allowed to select the type of anaesthesia they wish to use, from the various available options.

Regardless of the anaesthetic option advised for the nose surgery, all rhinoplasty procedures are performed in conjunction with local anaesthesia, which makes the nose numb and reduces bleeding. Generally, local anaesthesia includes the use of drugs like lidocaine and epinephrine. ENT surgeons rarely use local anaesthesia by itself, because a patient who is fully awake during surgery may feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Some surgeons may advise conscious sedation for rhinoplasty procedures. Also known as IV sedation or twilight anaesthesia, conscious sedation requires the skilful use of powerful anaesthetics through an intravenous catheter. It renders the patient unconscious and motionless, without suppressing the patient’s ability to breathe. Whist trained anaesthetists are skilled in administering the right dose of anaesthetics, in some cases, the use of IV sedation may result in sudden movements by the patient, stoppage of breathing, inhalation of blood and other complications.

General anaesthesia is the third anaesthetic option that may be suggested for rhinoplasty. As nose surgery is generally non-invasive compared to other forms of surgery, the patient usually requires just enough anaesthetic to ensure that they are fully unconscious, and therefore both comfortable and motionless for the duration of the procedure. Since the dosage of anaesthetics used in general anaesthesia is usually less than that used in IV sedation, the after-effects are generally mild and short-lived. One of the main side effects associated with general anaesthesia is post-operative nausea, which may increase blood pressure levels, and discomfort.

ENT London is a premier ENT clinic in central London, which specialises in nose surgery for aesthetic as well as functional reasons. The team of highly experienced ENT surgeons at ENT London are supported by certified anaesthetists, who are dedicated to ensuring maximum patient comfort.

ENT London is one of UK’s leading centres for nose surgery, and can be contacted on 0207 580 6970.


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