Whole Beauty® Institute

Surgery has long been linked to anesthesia. Since surgical procedures involve the creation of incisions, addressing sensation—or a lack thereof—in the target area is a necessary part of the process. While general anesthesia is highly effective to suppress sensation during surgical procedures, it unfortunately comes with some side effects and drawbacks that can discourage prospective patients from pursuing their procedure of choice. As an alternative, Dr. John Q. Cook has refined a more advanced approach to cosmetic surgery at Chicago’s Whole Beauty® Institute by offering local anesthetic for many procedures.

What Are the Challenges Related to General Anesthesia?

General anesthesia essentially shuts down the body’s reflexes to suppress sensation during surgery—including those related to the digestive system. Undigested food can cause vomiting during the surgery. It can also potentially be aspirated, which means it enters the lungs. This is why patients must fast before their procedure. Although this is a required pre-operative step, avoiding food and drink is an unpleasant experience for most people.

After surgery, it takes some time for the general anesthetic to leave the system, and dehydration as a result of not being able to drink or eat before the surgery can amplify the side effects of anesthesia after the procedure is over—such as grogginess, nausea, headaches, and other unpleasant sensations.
Although general anesthesia is safe for most patients, it carries some real risks, which include blood clots in the legs and serious reactions to the anesthetic agents. Talk to your surgeon before your procedure to understand all the potential risks.

How Is Local Anesthesia Easier for Patients vs General Anesthesia?

Local anesthesia, administered by specifically targeted injections, reduces sensation in the surgical area without causing a sleep-like state. Patients remain awake and alert but are unable to feel the full impact of the incisions and the surgery. Simple pills given by mouth make the patient relaxed during the surgery, but they are not unresponsive.

Since there is no danger related to vomiting and aspiration, patients can eat and drink a sensible meal before surgery. This means patients have better hydration and blood sugar levels prior to the procedure, and therefore, the body is better able to recover following the surgery. Patients also avoid the complex anesthetic agents from general anesthesia that need to be broken down or flushed out which contribute to a post-surgery “haze” and similar side effects.

What Procedures Can Be Performed with Local Anesthesia?

Dr. Cook has developed techniques that allow him to perform many cosmetic plastic surgeries using only local anesthesia. Patients find a good experience and beautiful results with a range of facial rejuvenation procedures—full face lift, cheek lift, jaw border lift, neck lift, brow lift, and upper and lower eyelid surgery—as well as fat transfer to add volume to the cheek area, lips, and more. Additionally, Dr. Cook and his team can often employ the same local anesthetic techniques for body contour procedures.

Our Chicago-based Whole Beauty® Institute team can help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Call us at 312-751-2112 (Chicago Gold Coast Office) or 847-446-7562 (North Shore (Winnetka) Office), or submit a contact form to request a consultation.