Anesthesia for rhinoplasty or nose surgery is typically under general anesthesia. This means you will have a breathing tube and certain gas anesthetics are used to keep you under. The reason general anesthesia is used more often for a nose job and not twilight or conscious sedation is to protect the airway. With nose surgery, there may be blood that drains from the back of the nose and irritate the vocal cords or enter the airway. This can lead to significant coughing or even aspiration.
Local anesthesia is injected into the nose after you are under general anesthesia. This helps block pain receptors in the nose and limits the amount of narcotic the anesthesiologist needs to use. It also has a little epinephrine in it and constricts the blood vessels leading to less bleeding during surgery.
General anesthesia today is quite safe with close monitoring throughout the procedure. It is important to have a board certified anesthesiologist present during your rhinoplasty.
Dr. Funk is a nose surgery expert in Houston, TX.