By Richard O. Gregory, MD
Have you been interested in a cosmetic treatment but scared to do it? Does the thought of needles make your stomach turn? Some plastic surgery/skincare treatments are by their very nature uncomfortable or even painful. At The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery, we utilize multiple methods to keep our patients comfortable. We have been able to use topical anesthesia successfully and continually seek newer and better formulations. Oral medications can cause restrictions such as no driving afterwards or other issues. Sometimes anxiety or fear issues can contribute as well. In addition, deeper levels of anesthesia/analgesia also require monitoring and other precautions. In certain circumstances, there are limitations imposed by the nature of the treatment and pain relief, or the patient’s situation. Although traditional methods provide adequate comfort for most patients, there still is a “discomfort”at times. We are pleased to be able to introduce an advanced new development in treatment, which greatly expands options to our patients.
Nitrous oxide, aka “laughing gas,” has been known to produce analgesia and anesthesia for many years. Although used in dental offices, as well as labor and delivery and other specific applications, its use in aesthetic practices is new. The concentration of nitrous oxide used at IAS is very safe and effective. The patient controls how much they get by how much they breathe into the mouthpiece. To add to its benefits, its duration is extremely short, so the patients usually are able to drive themselves home following the procedure after using laughing gas. This is not possible with many oral pain medications or relaxants.
Many of the treatments which have been moderately uncomfortable in the past can be accomplished with minimal pain and discomfort. Being able to drive to and from the procedure without extensive preparations, time involvement, or avoiding being fully put to sleep has made this a popular choice for many of our patients. This is especially true for patients who have anxiety with needles or other needs. It is a very safe and effective option and we are pleased to be able to offer it to our patients at each of our three IAS offices. Please ask about it when you come for your next treatment.