"Most cosmetic surgery tragedies, like those of Olivia Goldsmith, 'First Wives' Club' author, Donde West and Stephanie Kuleba, are anesthesia related, and most are avoidable," says Dr. Barry Friedberg, founder of Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to patient safety advocacy.
Most people are so fixated on the body part whose appearance they want to change that little thought is given to the anesthesia that will accompany the surgery. Some studies say patients pay more attention to the next car they will purchase than the anesthesia for their cosmetic surgery.
Propofol or Diprivan, the drug recently found at Michael Jackson's home, has become increasingly popular for cosmetic surgery anesthesia in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Dr. Friedberg in promoting the use of his PK (or propofol ketamine) anesthesia for the past 17 years.
After nearly two decades of providing PK anesthesia for cosmetic surgery for more than 100 different surgeons, there is no question that PK anesthesia is reproducible. "No known cosmetic surgery requires general anesthesia, even tummy tucks," says Dr. Friedberg.
No PK patients have died or come close to death, like Tameka Foster's recent Brazilian experience. Brain monitoring was added to PK anesthesia in 1997. Since then, no PK patients needed any anti-vomiting medications or strong pain, narcotic medications for pain.
Most anesthesia providers who give propofol have observed the wide variation in patient response. The 19-fold variation in the metabolic fate of the drug between individual patients is the most compelling reason to monitor the brain, the organ the propofol is designed to medicate.
"The brain monitor tells the surgeon when to inject local an
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