Surgery is no new concept for humans — since the discovery of pain, we have searched for cause and relief. Primitive “doctors” explored herbs as methods of treating pain in medical procedures. Early forms of anesthesia included soporifics — which dull the senses and induce sleep — and narcotics, such as opium, jimsonweed, marijuana, and alcohol.
Fortunately today, the alleviation of pain in any surgery, whether plastic surgery or getting a tumor removed, lacks cruelty or discomfort.
photo by Dan Cox
History proves that humans weren’t always as lucky as we are today.
Anesthesia, which comes from the Greek word for “loss of sensation,” began with trial and error. Substances that may cause numbness or anxiety relief never promised a guarantee of full pain elimination.
Hypnosis served as an early form of anesthesia. The deep relaxation put patients in a trance, allowing for bodily numbness. But the difficulty of complete insensitivity due to hypnosis caused a rare amount of occurrences.
Compared to hypnosis, which relaxes the muscles, cocaine and other narcotics fall on the opposite end of the anesthesia spectrum due to their stimulant reaction; however, they also have historically been used for surgeries. The addictive nature of these drugs deterred its credibility for practitioners.
Trial began to dominate over error when, in1846, a dentist named Dr. William Morton removed a tumor from the jaw of a patient after using ether to knock him unconscious. The operation subject claimed he had no memory of the procedure or any pain.
We have many fearless doctors to thank — and the brave patients who dealt with negative repercussions — for today’s perfected forms of anesthesia. The wide variety of anesthetics available now evolved from early substances, including morphine, drugs chemically related to cocaine, and nitrous oxide.
If the expectation of pain or the fear of the unknown when you’re “going under” is causing you hesitation to take successful steps to happiness, then re-route your surgical destination to Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD, a Manhattan plastic surgery authority who optimizes anesthetics to provide natural and balanced revival.