What are the options?:
- Local Anaesthetic - an injection which numbs the area ready for your surgery
- Twilight anaesthesia - an injection of a drug such as valium to make you less anxious (in addition to the injection which numbs the area of your surgery), but you are still conscious
- TIVA (total intravenous anaesthesia) - an injection of drugs which put you to sleep and prevent you feeling any discomfort from the surgery
- General anaesthesia - usually an injection of drugs following by inhaled gases which put you to sleep and prevent you feeling any discomfort from the surgery
Mr Gault undertakes a wide range of procedures, including ear reduction, earlobe reduction and set back of ears (otoplasty or pinnaplasty) under local anaesthetic (LA). The benefits include:
- Cheaper (in adults)
- Faster recovery
- For ear set back, in particular, you can check the position of the ears before it is finalised
Children as young as 7 will often manage perfectly well with surgery under local anaesthesia. A few patients who are anxious about local anaesthesia benefit from a small dose of oral valium before surgery.
You remain awake, and the medication settles anxiety, but you would not be able to drive and we would recommend that you are accompanied for at least the remainder of the day. You should not drink alcohol that same day or operate any machinery or equipment which might cause you harm.
EMLA cream is a local anaesthetic cream (sometimes called "magic" cream, or numbing cream) which can be applied to an area to numb it in preparation for surgery such as laser treatment, or in preparation for an injection (for example of local anaesthetic).
We can send you a prescription for EMLA cream to take to a pharmacy so that you can apply the cream yourself, approximately 60-90 minutes before the procedure, so that the area is already numb before you have an injection, for example, of local anaesthetic, steroid or Sclerovein.
Alternatively, you can arrive 90 minutes before the procedure and the nursing staff will supply the cream and apply it for you.
Twilight Anaesthetic and TIVA
Twilight anaesthesia is also called intravenous sedation. It is usually undertaken using a sedative drug such as intravenous valium There is also the more specialised TIVA, Total Intravenous Anaesthesia, which is more akin to general anaesthesia but without inhaled gas. Both of these methods require a day case stay, and it is usually the case that anaesthetic costs and hospital costs are the same as for general anaesthesia as the level of staffing, equipment and safety procedures are the same.
General anaesthetic is usually necessary for procedures in children under 7 and for surgery deep inside the body (for example for ear reconstruction using a rib from the ribcage)