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Anesthesia is a vital component of a safe and comfortable surgical experience. It prevents pain during procedures, allowing patients to undergo surgeries safely and comfortably.
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You are not alone! Having anesthesia during plastic surgery can make anyone nervous. That is why, at the Columbus Institute of Plastic we do everything to make sure you are safe and comfortable for your plastic surgery procedure. In fact, every year anesthesia is more and more safe. It is so safe, that it is riskier to drive a car than to have any type of anesthesia for any type of plastic surgery procedure such as rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, tummy-tuck, liposuction, or facelifts.

One of the reasons that we are safer than most other plastic surgery places is that we use a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Many places use a nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist). A CRNA can be very good, but their training is from a nursing background. Though, many surgery centers feel this is adequate, we, at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery, feel you deserve the best and most trained person possible for your anesthesia. That is why we only use an MD or DO Anesthesiologist that has had over 7 years of training and eduction after college!

Our anesthesiologist is Dr. Gretchen Hollingsworth. She is the only anesthesiologist we have used since 2006 (We won’t let her get tired – she’s too good!) She went to medical school at the Ohio State University and then did a anesthesiology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. After that she worked in Denver, and just before joining our staff, she worked at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster.


Having plastic surgery today is safer than ever before! One of the biggest area of advances is in the type of anesthesia offered by plastic surgeons for our plastic surgery patients. There are three main types of anesthesia for plastic surgery patients.


This type of anesthesia is the safest and easiest from which to recover. With this type of anesthesia for plastic surgery, the area that is being treated, is numbed by injecting numbing medication (usually Lidocaine) in the area that is being treated. This will make the area completely numb, so that you will feel nothing. The best part is that there is no recovery from the anesthesia so you can drive home.


Twilight anesthesia is where you would have an IV placed – usually in your arm, and then during the plastic surgery procedure you will receive medication through your IV to help you relax and make you a little groggy. You will not be put to sleep. This means that you do not have the risk of general anesthesia and you will not have to recover from general anesthesia. You will need someone to drive you home.


At the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery we want to make sure your surgery experience is as stress free as possible. One of most common concerns that people voice is about anesthesia during surgery. Hopefully, the following information will answer your questions and put your mind at ease so that you can focus on the healing process after your surgery at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Gretchen Hollingsworth is our Board Certified Anesthesiologist. She has been practicing for 18 years and has specialized in outpatient general anesthesia, specifically cosmetic surgery. She stays with you the entire time you are sleeping, carefully monitoring your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. She will focus all of her efforts to make sure you are safe and comfortable during your plastic surgery procedure.

The goal of general anesthesia during surgery is to achieve the following five points.

  • Analgesia, or pain relief
  • Amnesia, or loss of memory of the procedure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Motionlessness
  • Weakening of autonomic responses

Types of anesthetic agents

There are two major types of anesthetics used for general anesthesia, inhalation and intravenous anesthetics. Inhalation anesthetics, which are sometimes called volatile anesthetics, are compounds that enter the body through the lungs and are carried by the blood to body tissues. Inhalation anesthetics are less often used alone in recent clinical practice; they are usually used together with intravenous anesthetics. A combination of inhalation and intravenous anesthetics, often with opioids added for pain relief and neuromuscular blockers for muscle paralysis, is called balanced anesthesia.

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Preparation for general anesthesia includes the taking of a complete medical history and the evaluation of all factors—especially a family history of allergic responses to anesthetics—that might influence the patient’s response to specific anesthetic agents.

Patients should not eat or drink before general anesthesia because of the risk of regurgitating food and liquid or aspirating vomit into the lungs.

The anesthetist and medical personnel provide supplemental oxygen and monitor patients for vital signs and monitor their airways. Vital signs include an EKG (unless the patient is hooked up to a monitor), blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and temperature. The staff also monitors the patient’s level of consciousness as well as signs of excess bleeding from the incision.

Many patients worry about Post-operative nausea and vomiting. If the proper steps are not taken, this can be a a common problem during recovery from general anesthesia, here at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery we do everything that can be done to help try to prevent that, pills that decrease the acid in your stomach, IV medication for nausea, quick dissolving pills for nausea for you to take at home, even acupuncture if you want it!!!

Some patients after general anesthesia may feel drowsy, weak, may experience decreased appetite or have difficulty sleeping for several days after the operation. For these reasons, anyone who has had general anesthesia should not drive, operate machinery, or perform other activities that could endanger themselves or others for at least 24 hours, or longer if necessary.

As you gently, comfortably wake up, Dr. Hollingsworth will give you intravenous medication to keep you very comfortable and restful. In fact, most people don’t even remember the ride home!

The most common statement from our patients is “I can’t believe it’s over!” Here at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery we take care of you like you our family so don’t be afraid of the anesthesia.