Caveats of Asthma and Cosmetic Surgery

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2023-03-27 05:30 AM | By Tamira Scientific Committee

When it comes to undergoing any type of plastic surgery that requires being put under full anesthesia, you can face a lot of risks. If you have asthma, the risks increase dramatically. Common plastic surgery procedures that require complete anesthesia include: Liposuction (fat removal), Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), Gynecomastia (breast reduction for men or women), Breast Surgery (breast implants), and Rhinoplasty (nose restructuring). In general, any time a major modification is done to the body internally, patients require complete sedation.

Going under for any procedure carries the same risks.

The most common risk to patients undergoing anesthesia is actually damage to teeth. The equipment used to sedate patients can be harsh on teeth and the most common complaint filed against anesthesiologists is regarding damaged teeth, in particular upper incisors.

Beyond dental concerns, the next biggest risk is anaphylaxis, or having an allergic reaction to the drugs used during sedation. The medicines used to put patients under for cosmetic and most other operations, are not common and can cause patients to have severe and life threatening reactions. In instances where patients have asthma, it is more likely for airway swelling from a reaction to be fatal.

Another major risk, especially for asthmatic patients is aspiration pneumonitis. This is basically when the patient inhales foreign bodies into the lungs, do to relaxed tissues as a result of the sedation, and an infection occurs. The most common culprit is vomit or reflux. The infection begins with inflammation from the foreign bodies and can be severely complicated by existing asthma.

Peripheral nerve damage is another major risk from anesthesia. When procedures require a long period of time, such as extensive facial reconstruction, nerves can become permanently damaged because patients have to remain in the same position for too long. While this is a risk that is not entirely affected by asthma, having it can require alternative positions to be considered when undergoing extensive surgeries.

The biggest added risks for asthma patients:

For asthma patients, the biggest additional risks come in the possibility for it to flare while under anesthesia. Bronchial spasms can lead to increased chances of damage to your throat and larynx. It is important for asthma to be well under control and managed prior to considering any type of cosmetic procedure that requires being put under. All members of the care staff should be aware of your medical history and take measures to be careful and monitor you for potential spasms during the procedure.

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