Donda West Death Highlights Unnecessary Risk of General Anesthesia for Cosmetic Surgery

Date Published: 
Thu, 2007-11-15

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2004, Olivia Goldsmith, author of the First Wives’ Club, died during cosmetic surgery. More recently, Dr. Donda West, mother of rapper Kanye West, died following cosmetic surgery.

“Aside from post-mastectomy reconstruction, there are NO medical reasons for cosmetic surgery. Therefore, no avoidable anesthesia risks, like those associated with general anesthesia, are acceptable,” claims Dr. Barry L. Friedberg, a globally recognized leader in the field of anesthesia.

“Since all cosmetic procedures can be performed under local anesthesia only, any and all additional anesthetic agents must be selected and given with the utmost care,” says Friedberg.

“Most patients desire not to hear, feel or remember their surgical experience, a condition often associated with the state of general anesthesia. To accommodate patients’ wishes, general anesthesia is most often given for cosmetic surgery,” states Friedberg.

According to Aspect Medical Systems, makers of the BIS monitor, the sleep portion of general anesthesia ideally occurs at 45-60 on a scale of 0-100. “Minimally invasive anesthesia (MIA)® (BIS = 60-75) gives patients what they desire from general anesthesia with the lesser trespass of sedation,” asserts Friedberg.

“During MIATM, muscle tone in the legs is preserved in addition to pre-emptive analgesia being provided. Preserving leg muscle tone along with the ability to rapidly walk after surgery because of minimal postoperative pain are among the significant advantages of MIATM compared to general anesthesia,” says Friedberg.

General anesthesia for cosmetic surgery is not only unnecessary but also fraught with potentially lethal consequences, like pulmonary embolism, vomiting with aspiration, and respiratory arrest secondary to postoperative narcotic pain medications. “All of these potential complications are avoided with MIATM,” states Friedberg.

More anesthesia providers are recognizing the advantages of MIATM. Both surgeons and anesthesia providers need to be asked to provide it to optimize patient safety for cosmetic surgery.

More information can be found at www.cosmeticsurgeryanesthesia.com, a patient-oriented, non-commercial web site.

Barry L. Friedberg, M.D. has been in active practice exclusively in office-based anesthesia for cosmetic surgery since 1992. He has published 30 letters to the editor, 14 articles and 6 book chapters including 3 in Anesthesia in Cosmetic Surgery by Cambridge University Press.

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