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Virtually painless: Dr Michael Gartner asserts that the procedure is virtually painless, and that most patients only feel minor discomfort
A New Jersey plastic surgeon is performing breast augmentation surgeries while his patients are still awake.
Dr Michael Gartner, who has multiple offices in close proximity to New York, has been performing the procedure for just over four years and says it stemmed from client demand.
He is able to do this through the use of local anesthesia, satisfying the concerns of patients worried about not waking up after taking general anesthesia while under the knife, he told MailOnline.
Dr Gartner said that he believes he is the only board-certified plastic surgeon performing such a procedure in the entire country.
Other doctors perform similar procedures, but this is not their primary business, he added.
He came to the idea after several patients expressed reservations about going completely under – including a woman who was a heavy smoker and wanted such a procedure but outright refused to be asleep.
‘That was my ‘ahah’ moment,’ he recalled, saying that a similar procedure was performed with local anesthesia as far back as the 1960s, but had fallen out of favor as general anesthesia became more reliable.
‘I didn’t invent this, I never pretended to,’ said Dr Gartner. ‘This is kind of probably the way they did it in the 60s or 70s.’
Fully awake: Patients are awake, talkative and fully alert during the entire surgery
Local anesthesia: The area where the surgery is being performed is made numb through injections
He hasn’t looked back since.
A patient shown while having a breast augmentation done during a recent profile on Chasing Jersey was alert, talkative and said she felt very little discomfort.
She chose Dr Gartner after viewing his prolific series of YouTube videos.
'I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and I felt confident that this was the right decision,’ said Rachel Saez.
She detailed what it was like to have a procedure done while she was awake.
‘I can feel him working on me,’ she said, ‘I can feel him pulling and tugging but it does not hurt.’
Minor discomfort: Despite being cut open, patients report feeling only a tugging sensation as the doctor goes to work
The procedure takes about half an hour and requires less recovery time than conventional surgeries.
The patients experience little to no pain, and sidestep the nausea that can be experienced by patients under general anesthesia.
Dr Gartner offers pateints the option of general or local anesthesia, and as much as 40 per cent opt for local. Some come from surrounding states for the unique procedure, he noted.
‘It’s a little niche I’ve developed.’