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The Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Anesthesia for Procedures

For many years, the use of nitrous oxide during procedures was generally relegated to the dental profession as an effective method to control pain. Interestingly, in the past few years, nitrous oxide is being used in non-dental surgical procedures.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide sedation is often called laughing gas. It is sometimes depicted in movies as the gas that a dentist gives you and you pass out. In reality, nitrous oxide is an anesthetic that will just relax you. You will be completely aware of what is going on around you. Some people have compared this anesthetic to having a glass of wine or a Xanax.

Why Use Nitrous Oxide?

Some patients may be delaying a desired cosmetic procedure because of the need for general anesthesia. We understand that there are many downsides to general anesthesia, such as required breathing assistance, related side effects, and an increase in cost.

Nitrous oxide, often called twilight anesthesia, is a great alternative for some cosmetic procedures. In some cases, nitrous oxide will be administered along with a drug that will block pain and/or reduce anxiety. Twilight anesthesia can enable patients to feel comfortable through the entire procedure — before and after. In addition to the nitrous oxide and/or additional drugs, a local anesthetic is usually applied to the procedure site to allow for an almost pain-free experience.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide/Twilight Anesthesia Over General Anesthesia

There are many benefits to administering nitrous oxide over a general anesthesia. These include:

  • No artificial ventilation is required
  • Fewer side effects such as vomiting and nausea
  • Fewer complications
  • Faster recovery times
  • Less expensive

Procedures That Can Be Done Under Nitrous Oxide

Twilight anesthesia can be used for several popular cosmetic surgery procedures including:

  • Laser resurfacing
  • Liposuction
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Breast or butt augmentation

Dr. Thomas Wright, Medical Director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center says, “We understand that some patients may be uncomfortable undergoing cosmetic procedures for any number of reasons. We want to ensure that each patient feels comfortable through the entire procedure.” He continues, “We also want to ensure the safety of the patient, so a complete medical history review will be done to determine of nitrous oxide or twilight anesthesia is right for the patient.” If you want to know more about nitrous oxide or twilight anesthesia, please give us a call!