Monday, September 28, 2015

Anesthesiologists And Lashes

While doing some research on anesthesia and eye injuries, I came across this rather amusing website for eyelash extensions. Now lash extensions are the bane of my existence. First of all, I don't understand people who don't appreciate the natural beauty of their God given physical features. I guess I'm just not into nips and tucks. To me they are more a sign of vanity than beauty. But as an anesthesiologist, fake eyelashes just gives me one more thing to worry about when all I want to do is keep your life safe while undergoing surgery. Instead I have to preoccupy a neuro circuit to decide how best to protect your eyes without disrupting those ostentatious inch long spider legs dangling from your lids.

Nevertheless, I have to admire the earnestness of the writer, Megan, of this beauty webpage. She talks about a job category that I had never heard about, or even gave a second thought to, the "lash artist". There are even expensive courses offered to teach a person how to become proficient in the creative arts of eyelashes. Megan writes, "Many times anesthesiologists are oblivious to the finely placed lash extensions, which is proof of a good lash artist." An inattentive and busy anesthesiologist may not properly appreciate the hard work that goes into these long hairy appendages which leads to, "rough awakening without lash extensions."

Megan's advice for lash extenders is to, "Notify your anesthesiologist of your lashes and talk about the different options to keep your lashes while protecting your eyes." She personally recommends using silk tape over Tagaderm or paper tape. Her reason? She says it's more natural and, "who doesn't like silk?"

In all sincerity, she tells her readers, "Your anesthesiologist will surely be impressed with your knowledge coming into surgery and they might even learn." She signs off the post with "xoxo, Megan". Well Megan, I welcome any discussions my patients have about their concerns with surgery and anesthesia. However while I'm trying to discuss the seriousness of anesthetics and their potential life threatening complications, the idea of putting a priority on keeping lash extensions intact ranks right down there with what shoes you wore to the hospital today. Yes I will listen attentively to your fears of waking up with disjointed lashes, but internally I am rolling my eyes at the preposterousness of the situation. The OR staff too will guffaw with derision when they hear how preoccupied your reader is with her unnaturally lengthy lashes while her body is about to be wracked by the ravages of the surgeon's knife.

I'm sorry Megan. We anesthesiologists and the entire operating room team have a million and one things to worry about besides how your eyelashes will survive surgery. How they will look in postop is the last thing on our minds.

xoxo,
ZMD

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