Pro-Nox (Nitrous Oxide) Add-On For Procedures & Surgery
Anxiety, including needle phobia, is a reality and a precluding factor for many patients who undergo surgical or even nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. To address patient discomfort, cosmetic oculofacial plastic surgeon John R. Burroughs, M.D., says he uses nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as an optional add-on to local anesthesia and oral sedation. He was a faculty member and speaker at a cosmetic meeting in Miami and heard about this device brought it to Springs Aesthetics as he cares as much about patient experience as cosmetic results.
Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative that helps people relax, according to the American Dental Association. Researchers Reported on the use of nitrous oxide in 24 cosmetic dermatology patients in 2013. They found lower subjective pain intensity among those treated with nitrous oxide and all but one of the people studied chose nitrous oxide for their next treatment.
Dr. Burroughs, who has a surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic practice in the Colorado Springs, CO, says nitrous oxide has been accepted with high patient satisfaction during injections, resurfacing, and even for his office-based surgeries. He uses nitrous oxide, with or without topical anesthetic and local injection anesthesia, for patients who are particularly anxious or who have low pain thresholds. It is great for even nervous wrinkle blocker or filler patients.
Patients breathe the gas through a plastic mouthpiece 6-10 times. Local anesthetic nerve or field blocks or aesthetic injections may then be performed. Effects last approximately 5-7 minutes and can be repeated as needed during treatments. For surgical patients, usually this only needs to be done at the beginning as once the local has been injected the rest of the surgery is typically very well tolerated.
Patient recovery is fast. If a patient has only had the laughing gas and no other IV or oral sedation then they can drive after just 10-15 minutes. Pulmonary disease patients are among those who aren’t candidates, and if oral/IV sedation has been given or if the vision has been temporarily impacted by the treatment or surgery we always require a driver for patient safety.
Needle phobia is not necessarily connected to pain as its often more associated with anxiety. For lengthy or more uncomfortable procedures it is best to still give an amnestic oral sedative to maximize the patient experience. Many patients don’t want IV or general anesthesia and we now have another tool to make patient anxiety and comfort even better for procedures done in the office setting. At Springs Aesthetics, Dr. Burroughs has used Nitrous Oxide for cosmetic upper and lower eyelid surgeries, facelifts, facial resurfacing, and for cosmetic dermal filler injections. As far as we know we are the first and only surgical and med-spa practice in Colorado Springs offering this device. The Pro-Nox system is very safe and is even used in labor and delivery. It definitely works, and it helps reduce patient pain and anxiety. We are proud to offer this to our Springs Aesthetics patients. The added cost for this service is only $50, and if a patient brings their same tubing back then subsequent Pro-Nox use is only $25.