How important is the anaesthetist in cosmetic surgical procedures?

An often unsung hero, Adrian Richards shares his thoughts on how important the anaesthetist is…

To get the best outcome from any operation, both the anaesthetist and scrub team need to be very experienced and as good at their jobs as the surgeon themselves.

I only use 2 or 3 anaesthetists who I have worked with for many years and have a very good relationship with them.

We understand what we need for each operation and they are able to control the blood pressure which reduces the risk of bleeding following surgery and also minimises any bruising.

My anaesthetist is also an expert at local anaesthetic blocks which can numb the area following surgery so that patients have very little discomfort.

The other factor is post-operative sickness and again the type of anaesthetics we use minimise this. In the last 10 years, operating on 400 patients a year, I cannot remember a patient who has had severe sickness following surgery.

So my advice for anyone considering surgery is to ask the surgeon which anaesthetist they use and whether they have significant experience working with the surgeon and also in the plastic surgical field.

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