For over seven years, Dr. Steve Yun and Associates have been honored to be the exclusive anesthesia providers for the patients of Dr. Lavinia Chong. Dr. Yun and Associates are all board-certified anesthesiologists, and have served numerous leadership positions and received service awards in the community. Dr. Yun has specifically been recognized by the Orange County Medical Society for the Physician of Excellence Award in 2007 and 2010.
Working with Dr. Chong has been especially rewarding on several levels. We have been able to build long-term relationships not only with Dr. Chong and her staff, but also with many of her patients. Dr. Chong also has a unique, patient-centered approach that focuses on the comfort and safety of her patients, and this includes how she approaches the anesthesia for her patients.
Traditionally, general anesthesia has been used for most cosmetic procedures, even though, this deep level of anesthesia is often not medically necessary. In other words, there is a dramatic difference in the anesthesia needs for a patient undergoing major intra-abdominal surgery versus cosmetic surgery. But rather than tailoring the anesthesia needs for each individual patient, most doctors simply use a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to dosing medicine and as a result, most patients undergoing cosmetic surgery have been grossly “over-dosed” with general anesthesia. This “overdose” typically manifests itself post-operatively as excessive grogginess (the “anesthesia hangover”) and nausea and vomiting.
While an anesthesia overdose has significant side effects, no patient wants to receive an “under-dose” of anesthesia either. The anesthesia/surgical experience can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, and patients want and deserve to have a comfortable, pleasant anesthesia experience.
To resolve this anesthesia dilemma, Dr. Steve Yun and Dr. Chong have collaborated in using an anesthesia technique that tailors the experience to each individual patient, and prevents an individual from receiving too much or too little anesthesia. This technique involves the use of intravenous medications that create a pleasant, comfortable sleep state but without provoking nausea. Medicines are carefully and scientifically titrated using cutting-edge technology such as a brain wave monitor (the BIS monitor). In this way, the anesthesia experience is personalized to the unique needs and profiles of each individual patient.
This relatively novel anesthesia technique is not easy, and certainly requires more work than the traditional “one size fits all” approach with general anesthesia. But the results are worth it – patients usually wake up from surgery with minimal grogginess, no nausea, and minimal discomfort. The safety of this technique is also stellar – to date, there have been no major complications associated with our anesthesia technique in Dr. Chong’s patients.
No matter what technique is used, an anesthesiologist must always be observant and constantly monitoring patients as they undergo surgery. By combining traditional vigilance with state of the art technology such as the BIS monitor, Dr. Steve Yun and Associates can provide a safe and even pleasant anesthesia experience that is customized to each patient as an individual.
1. Will I wake up? Will I be sick when I wake up?
Yes, you will wake up from your anesthetic and because of our special technique, most patients wake up within minutes and pleasantly surprised that their “wonderful” nap is over.
Again, because we utilize a special anesthesia technique in Dr. Chong’s practice, we have eliminated post-operative nausea in 99% of our patients!
2. General vs. MAC?
General anesthesia is the “heaviest” form of anesthesia, and typically involves stronger drugs, muscle paralysis, anesthesia gases and a breathing tube. While general anesthesia is very safe, it typically produces excessive grogginess and nausea when patients wake up after their procedure. MAC is Monitored Anesthesia Care, or in layman’s terms, “twilight sleep” anesthesia under the control and direction of an anesthesiologist. This is a lighter form of anesthesia, using more rapidly metabolized sedatives and patients are breathing on their own without a breathing tube or inhaling any nauseagenic anesthesia gases. In Dr. Chong’s practice, we exclusively use MAC because it provides our patients with a pleasant sleep experience without the heaviness or nausea of general anesthesia.
3. Do I breathe on my own?
Yes you will always be breathing on your own during the surgical procedure. Again, we do not insert any breathing tubes into your windpipe during our cases. You will only be breathing air and oxygen. You will NOT be breathing in any nausea-provoking anesthesia gases. Your breathing is monitored constantly and continuously by our board-certified anesthesiologist.
4. Will I be talking, responsive?
No, for most of our procedures involving twilight anesthesia, our patients are comfortably asleep. For more minor procedures, minimal sedation may be chosen and during those cases, you make be awake but in a more relaxed state.
5. Who provides the anesthesia?
We only use board-certified anesthesiologists who have been personally chosen to work in our office. The primary anesthesiologist and anesthesia director is Dr. Steve Yun. He has been chosen multiple times for the Physician of Excellence Award by the Orange County Medical Society. He obtained his medical degree from USC and completed his anesthesiology residency at UCLA in 2000.
6. Do you have an emergency plan if anything goes wrong?
Yes, we have all the emergency drugs and equipment for any possible emergency including a defibrillator. We regularly conduct emergency drills to make sure we are ready for any situation that may arise.
7. What are the main drugs you use?
We primarily use the sedative propofol. Propofol is the most popular anesthetic used universally in ORs all across the world. It is popular because it produces a rapid, pleasant sleep state but at the same time, it is rapidly metabolized so that patients wake up quickly without nausea.
8. Who is present in the OR?
Dr. Chong, a surgical technician, a registered nurse, and a board certified anesthesiologist. Occasionally, a representative from an equipment manufacturer may also be present to provide technical assistance with specialized equipment. On occasion, a medical student may be present, but only to observe.
9. How do you ensure I am fit for anesthesia?
Both Dr. Chong and the anesthesiologist will do a complete history and physical to ensure your fitness for anesthesia. When indicated, we will also order blood labs, EKG and further consultation with your primary physician to make sure you’re completely ready for your surgical procedure.
10. How long will it take for me to wake up?
Because we use the rapidly metabolized drug Propofol, most patients will wake up within several minutes after the surgical procedure is completed! Again, most patients will wake up from a very pleasant sleep state and without nausea.