Fearing surgical pain is completely understandable. Invasive surgeries are painful and anaesthetics help the patients fall asleep during the surgery. They’re unable to feel any pain, and can’t move, which makes the surgery easier. When the surgeries are long and painful, general anaesthesia is the better choice.
In case of hair transplant surgery, the surgeon will punch holes on your scalp. He/she will also take hair follicles from the donor area of the scalp and then insert these follicles in the recipient area. It true that each patient is unique, and their pain tolerance can vary. Still, if you keep moving during the surgery, the final results will get adversely impacted.
At most, while getting the surgery, you might feel a slight discomfort which you’ll barely notice. General anaesthesia is not advised in case of hair transplant surgery. Under the effects of the general anaesthesia, the patient is unable to feel anything as he/she is completely unconscious.
Which Kind of Surgeries Make Use of General Anaesthesia?
General anaesthesia is performed when the surgery is more invasive and long. If someone’s having a brain, heart, or knee surgery, they can expect to get general anaesthesia. Cosmetic surgeries frequently make use of local anaesthesia. However, there are some surgeries in which the surgeons use general anaesthesia, such as tummy tuck, eyelid, and facelift, among others.
In surgeries where the patient is going to get general anaesthesia, the anaesthetist makes sure to talk to the patient before the procedure to understand their medical history. This way, he/she decides which anaesthetic will suit the patient the most. Medical history, any underlying condition, lifestyle, any medications that they are on are all discussed. The anesthesiologist puts the patient to sleep before the surgery and then wakes him/her up after it takes place. Throughout the surgery, the patient remains unconscious and pain-free.
There are different ways in which the anaesthesia can be administered to the patient prior to the surgery. The patient might receive an injection or inhale a gas through a mask. The anaesthetics don’t take too long to work. These chemicals will not let the passage of signal along the nerves. This way, your brain won’t detect anything that’s happening to your body. Within a minute or two, you will start losing your consciousness.
What are the Side Effects of General Anaesthesia?
The drugs that anesthesiologists use to put the patients under sleep are very strong. They can have some side effects. To avoid any pain when the patient wakes up, painkillers are also given. So, once you do wake up, you don’t have to worry about feeling any surgical pain. But there are some other side effects.
For instance, sometimes patients feel confused, suffer from temporary memory loss, or find themselves unable to concentrate on things. It is more common among people of older age. They can also feel dizzy after the surgery. This is why they need someone with them after the surgery so that they don’t end up hurting themselves. Patients can also feel nauseous as a result of getting general anaesthesia. They can also end up vomiting. Shivering and feeling cold are some other side effects. The patient can also feel sore in the injected area. Sore throat from the breathing tube can also happen.
It is not necessary that all patients experience these side effects. Some patients don’t experience any side effects. However, there are others who can’t help but feel sick. It’s better if you have someone by your side to assist you if you’ve got a big surgery. After a day or two, you will probably start feeling a lot better.
Is General Anaesthesia Safe?
Yes. And it’s very commonly used in many different types of surgeries. There are certain procedures in which longer anaesthesia increases the risk of “perioperative complications and mortality”. Patients who have some medical conditions are at a greater risk of experiencing side effects from general anaesthesia, such as those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, etc.
Why General Anaesthesia Is Not Suitable for Hair Transplant Surgery?
Let’s take a look at a few reasons.
It Reduces Surgical Complications
As mentioned before, when the duration of the surgery is longer, the potential risks associated with anaesthesia increase. However, it may depend on the type of the surgery, the health of the patient, their age and genetics, among other things.
Hair transplant surgery can take more than 6 hours. This is why general anaesthesia is not recommended for hair transplant surgery. It can put the health of the patient at risk, which is something that we hold in the highest regard. It’s important that the patient is aware of all the risks that come with general anaesthesia beforehand. However, keeping everything in view, we do not advise general anaesthesia to our patients who want hair transplant surgery.
You Need to Decide on Your Hairline
Another big reason why we don’t recommend general anaesthesia for hair transplant is that the patient needs to stay awake during the surgery. There are four main stages of the surgery: anaesthesia, extraction, incisions, and transplantation of follicles. You will have to turn over during the procedure and lay in different positions for as long as the surgery goes on. You will need to confirm your hairline to the surgeon as well. This is why we cannot put you to sleep. The results of your surgery can get affected if you’re unable to move.
The surgeon will draw the hairline just before making the incisions in the scalp. This essentially plays the role of opening the channels. The reason why the surgeon draws the hairline just before the beginning of the 3rd stage of the surgery is so that the line isn’t wiped off during the extraction part. In the extraction stage, the patient is lying on his forehead.
When you’re up and conscious, you’ll check the hairline for yourself and tell us it’s okay to go ahead if you’re satisfied with it. Of course, it won’t be the first time that we will draw it. It makes the patient more satisfied with the results of the surgery. Only after you’ll tell us that all’s good, we’ll proceed with the channel opening.
If you’re sleeping and the surgeon makes the hairline on his/her own, you might not like it when you see it after the surgery. This is, of course, extremely inconvenient and troubling for the patient. We cannot turn the patient around during the surgery either as it is quite problematic.
What Are the Different Anaesthesia Options for Hair Transplant Procedure?
So, now, you know you’ll have to lie down on your side, face and then your back during the surgery. As you need to change positions, general anaesthesia is definitely not a good option. Moreover, if you’re not under it, you’ll have greater control over the result of your surgery. But, of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to be in pain throughout the procedure.
Hair transplant surgery makes use of local anaesthesia, which is very commonly used. This type of anaesthesia is limited to a specific area or part of the body. It is powerful enough to keep that area numb until the end of the procedure. It is a far more suitable option for hair transplant than general anaesthesia. We also have other options available for the patient in order to reduce their pain during the surgery, such as jet injector (needle-free option) and numbing cream. Just let us know about your preference and we will make the preparations.
We understand that the patients feel scared to have the operation under local anaesthesia. However, we are glad to inform you that this is not the only option for you. You may have the procedure with sedation, or you can get needle-free anaesthesia as well. We will make sure to stay with you throughout your hair transplant journey.
To Make the Long Story Short
We understand how discomforting the idea of pain during surgery is. That is why we do all we can to make our patients feel comfortable. The reason why local anaesthesia is better because it reduces the risks to your health. This is the most important thing for us. Other than that, as you need to move during the procedure, we can’t have you unconscious. Moving you around is simply inconvenient.
When you are awake, you can take a look at the hairline that the surgeon will draw on you. This will help you make any last-minute changes that you desire. It is very important that the patient is aware of the hairline that they will have after the surgery. Through general anaesthesia, that’s not a possibility.
At Longevita, your health is the most important to us. Our specialists will do all they can to help you. You can seek guidance from them. If you have any queries, they are more than willing to answer them. You can reach out to us right now if you have any question. And if you’re thinking of booking a phone consultation, you can do so free of charge.