#101 Cosmetic Surgery: Is Plastic Surgery Painful?

Dr. Bibilash Babu

Plastic And Cosmetic Surgeon

Planning to get plastic surgery for your body? Then, probably you might be in the process of weighing the pros and cons for it. While some are crazy excited about having a notable transformation or change to their body, some might also stay anxious, wondering how it all wraps up. It’s natural and genuinely common to have concerns about surgery. This will help you learn more about it and be assured of your decision. However, “too many cooks spoil the broth”! So, be aware and less worried while preparing to undergo plastic surgery.


Now, out of so many questions that pop up in the minds of patients, there are a few that need a word from the medical world. You might be bothered about the expenses incurred upon the surgery or anxious about recovery post-surgery. However, all of these can be addressed once you approach your doctor.


A quite common query from most of our clients – “Doctor, is this surgery painful?”. A painful surgery is a grave problem for patients. The thought of going through so much discomfort makes them hesitant to sign up for plastic surgery. However, despite the different kinds of plastic surgeries, there are medical methodologies to alleviate pain during the surgery. Let’s look at some of them here!


How To Determine Your Pain Level?

Numerous factors shape a person’s physiological state. There is a roleplay of genetics, current physical conditions, and medical history in determining how pain turns out for every individual. A few of such factors are given below. Let’s understand and process the reasons that affect the pain tolerance of a patient during the surgery.


  1. Age – It’s observed that younger people tend to be more sensitive to pain compared to the elderly. This might be probably because older people mostly seem to take more time in sensing due to the wear and tear of nerves during ageing.


  1. Previous history of pain tolerance – The way you perceive pain has a huge role in determining your pain level. If you have never ever been in an accident or undergone surgery, then the chances are high that you have a lower pain tolerance level since your body hasn’t experienced such events so far.


  1. Type of anesthesia used for your surgery – Use of anesthesia will help you cope with pain during surgery. It also has a longer-lasting effect, that is, it even helps through the post-surgery recovery phase. It also alleviates the nauseating tendency after the surgery is completed.


  1. Nature of your surgery – The role of this factor in determining your pain level is quite obvious. Different surgeries have different impacts and offer different pain levels. It depends upon whether it was a small incision or a deeply-placed one.


Different Types Of Anesthesia For Plastic Surgery

Miraculous discoveries and inventions within the field of cosmetic surgery have reduced the stress around surgery amongst people. Technology and science have advanced so much that patients feel the least amount of pain and get the best possible outcomes always. 


One of the popular and easiest ways to address pain during surgery is the dispensation of anesthesia. The pain during the surgery can be avoided by the application of an adequate and specific category of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia that you require prominently depends upon the kind of surgery you will undergo. Also, other factors such as age, height, weight, health status, etc., are taken into consideration. Given below are some of the most common types of anesthesia used during plastic surgery.


A basic and pretty common type is the local anesthesia that will be injected into the operative sites alone. The patient will stay awake during the surgery, but the specific area will be numbed. This is mostly used in the case of minor surgeries which doesn’t involve deep incisions on the body. 


Another one is tumescent anesthesia, wherein the doctor infiltrates the entire body region. Also, there is regional anesthesia in which the doctor anesthetizes a particular region through a nerve block. Here, medication is injected into the region of a specific major nerve surrounding the location of surgery. It’s quite effective in blocking pain in sensitive regions of your body. 


Then, there is general anesthesia where the patient is put to sleep completely and lies unconscious when the surgery is performed. It is administered by an IV. This is usually preferred when the surgery is expectedly long and provides a better grasp due to restricted body movement by the patient.


In addition, there’s a particular type of anesthesia known as IV Sedation; it’s almost similar to local and general anesthesia, being halfway between them in its effect. Usually, IV sedation along with local anesthesia is given to mitigate the surgery jitters as well as the physical pain during surgery. 


In this, the doctor administers certain IV drugs which reduce the pain and the patient feels more relaxed. But, this doesn’t mean the patient will require external physical support during the surgery; it only inhibits the pain sensation or the apprehension of the surgery.


If you’re concerned about the type of anesthesia that will be administered, address this to the doctor. They can provide a better insight into the whole process, helping you understand and take less stress about the whole surgery procedure. Furthermore, you can organize a discussion with the doctor and inform them if you suffer from any types of allergies. This will help you decide what will be the most effective anesthesia for you. 


Treating Post-Surgery Pain: The New Protocol

While dispensing anesthesia is an effective method to relieve pain during the surgery, there are so many personal factors that come into the picture, determining the amount of pain incurred. Despite such differences, if the analgesia or anesthesia is properly administered the patient will not suffer any pain during the surgery. After the surgery, the administration of adequate analgesia and pre-emptive analgesia will help the patient in not sensing the pain.


In the olden times, the doctor used to wait until the patient started to feel any small pain. This means that any kind of treatment or medication to relieve pain will be given, only if the patient is in agony. However, this concept of dealing with pain has completely changed in our current scenario. Today, it’s always better to provide medication to the patient even before the pain begins. This new protocol is practiced in all standard surgical centers around the world. 


According to this, the drugs given beforehand to reduce pain are called pre-emptive analgesia. These are prescribed based on the level of pain, tolerance of the patient as well as the expected pain level after a certain type of surgery is done. Even, the mode of administering the painkillers will be stated – whether it’s an oral intake, IV infusion, or as a transdermal patch. These factors also determine the number of painkillers chosen by the doctor. 


Yet, so many clients are dead worried and repeat the same question, “How painful will the surgery be?”. Answering that, if the medical team involved comprises experts in managing pain during the surgery and for the post-operative procedure, the surgery will take place smoothly without pain, nowadays. The surgery can be painless, but it doesn’t mean no pain is invoked at all.

Instead, the pain is simply minimized due to the following important factors:

  1. Precise surgery
  2. Impressive hemostatic
  3. Good surgical methods
  4. Adequate instruments to cease bleeding
  5. Effective surgical closure
  6. Proper administration of painkillers during & after the surgery. 


Besides, the instructions given after the surgery should be followed strictly to mitigate the pain of surgery. 


Find The Best Cosmetic Clinics To Get High-Quality Care

Even after all the helpful measures, the concerns don’t end here. Sometimes, the patient might suffer from bleeding or very early, from infections. 


So, make sure to get details of the center where your surgery is performed, and the surgeon who will perform plastic surgery is rightly qualified enough with prior and experienced knowledge. Be mindful of such matters and stay aware accordingly. This will ensure that you have an uneventful outcome after the surgery!


Qualified, appropriately-trained professionals who manage the specific surgical procedure in a good setup for a longer time will provide a seamless surgery experience. They also ensure consistent post-surgery results and will own a bunch of happy and satisfied patients.


Taking the decision to undergo plastic surgery is crucial. You must do good research and consult a well-acknowledged hospital to get the best results with negligible aftereffects. Also, track your body but don’t forget to de-stress it too! Have a happy surgery!



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