"They are talking to me the entire time," Dr. Robert. L. True says of his patients who opt to be "awake" during implant surgery. Yikes!
According to a New York Times piece by Catherine St. Louis, Dr. True is an obstetrician and gynecologist by training. Repeat: OB/GYN. Not a plastic surgeon by training. And this is not uncommon:
Dr. Anil K. Gandhi, who performs both awake procedures at his office in Cerritos, Calif., said he had taught "more than 100 doctors" in two-day $7,000 seminars for the National Society of Cosmetic Physicians. His students are doctors who typically did their residencies in ob/gyn or family medicine and who take a weekend course (or two) to learn how to do aesthetic surgeries with local anesthesia and sedation.
A two-day course! Dr. William P. Adams Jr., a plastic surgeon in Dallas, says, "it's just crazy."
But back to being "awake." What Dr. True and others like him do is prop up a patient — in the middle of surgery — ask if the implants look okay, and then sew the ladies up.
Jane Z. had an "awake" procedure done, and tells the Times she felt "pretty much out of it." She adds: "You're technically awake, but you remember nothing."
Sounds like these doctors are giving patients a false sense of control. Which is exactly what people who have decided to get implants want — the feeling that they can design their own body, regardless of what Mother Nature has given them. The problem? Surgery can have complications; humans are meant to age and sag, life is not completely under your control, etc.
Plus. Dr. Adams from Dallas puts it this way:
"They don't let people drive after a six-pack of beers. How well will people choose an implant size after narcotics?"
Awake for Breast Implants? If You Wish [NY Times]