At the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center in Houston, one of the most common questions we receive from patients is about the method of anesthesia Dr. Eisemann uses during various procedures. This is understandable given patients do not want to experience pain during or immediately after their procedure, and some patients may have had unpleasant experiences with general anesthesia following other general surgeries. The typical response to general anesthesia during the recovery period may include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and low body temperature. Dr. Michael Eisemann and a co-investigator performed a retrospective study of 171 patients over a two-year period detailing the outcomes of breast augmentation (both with and without breast lift) in patients who received IV sedation with intercostal nerve blocks rather than general anesthesia. This study was published in the March 2012 edition of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Dr. Eisemann found that these patients tolerated this protocol very well with only a few patients experiencing nausea in the recovery room. In comparing these results with his 30 years of experience, patients who have IV sedation and intercostal nerve blocks fair much better, have less nausea and vomiting, and less bleeding. In these 171 patients, there were no complications of: (1) infection; (2) hematoma (collection of blood under the skin); (3) seroma (pockets of clear, serous fluid); or, (4) pneumothorax (abnormal collection of air or gas in the chest). Beyond medical benefits to the patient, using this protocol is more cost effective for the patient because he/she can avoid hospital admissions, hospital acquired infection and the expense of an anesthesiologist. To learn more about this anesthesia protocol, please stay tuned to our future blog posts.