Is the Obagi Blue Peel Worth the Cost of the Anesthesia?

I am 42 years old and my plastic surgeon has recommended the Obagi Blue Peel for the lines beginning to form on my face & my enlarging pores. He says it is extremely painful and it must be done under anesthesia. He has tried local sedation in-office, but the patients experience very much discomfort. I will have to pay $500 on top of all of the other expenses (use of surgery suite, doctor's fee, etc.). I need to know if this is going to be worth all of the trouble.

Doctor Answers 8

Obagi blue peels do not need anesthesia

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I have been doing trichloroacetic acid peels, including Obagi Blue Peels as well as deeper peels, for over 25 years and none of my patients have ever felt that anesthesia was necessary. Blue peels are relatively simple to do and I charge $600 for the peel. There should be no other associated charges.

South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Obagi Blue peel in the awake patient

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I have done hundreds of Obagi Blue peels and I have never used general anesthesia or IV conscious sedation to perform this peel. In my opinion, it is done comfortably without any medication and in the rare patient with 5 mg of oral valium. 

General Anesthesia Not Needed for Blue Peel

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The Obagi Blue peel would be very painful without easy techniques to make if less so. In our office we use a combination of topical anesthesia, oral sedation and local anesthesia nerve blocks. Most patients are very comfortable and many do not even remember the specifics of the procedure.  We have not found the need to use general anesthesia for just the Blue Peel, a very popular procedure in my office.

Obagi and Anesthesia

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A physician generally can getter greater depth with sedation than without.  Having said that, we would offer other treatment options that might be possible if that type of depth is needed. We have not needed anesthesia for our chemical peels. Consult with your surgeon to ensure you understand all options available.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Anesthesia for Obagi Blue Peel?

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  I agree that you should not pay for the extra expenses involved with anesthesia, OR, etc for an Obagi Blue Peel.  That said, it is likely that with sedation, the cosmetic surgeon can likely achieve a greater depth than without any sedation.  In fact, I believe that Dr. Obagi does use sedation for his peels in his Beverly Hills practice.  But in my opinion, it likely would not justify the higher cost for the vast majority of patients who may not have the financial means as his patients.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Do not pay for Anesthesia for a Blue Peel

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I have overseen thousands of Blue Peels performed in our Med Spa. There is mild discomfort and we often times will use a cooling device. This device blows chilled air onto the face and really helps with the temporary discomfort. Pre-medication with oral Valium is often times very helpful. Lastly, topical placement of an anesthetic one hour before the treatment is nice. The peel itself is going to give you a nice result.    I am worried that this particular office may lack experience.

Charles Virden, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Obagi blue peel pain can depend on concentration and coats

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In my experience most blue peels can be performed with no sedation or oral sedation however it depends on 3 things. TCA concentration, how many coats are applied and patient tolerance. If a patient needs a higher concentration and more coats, sedation will certainly be more comfortable for you.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Obagi Blue Peel and Anesthesia

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In most cases Obagi Blue Peels and other trichloroacetic acid peels can be performed with topical anesthetics and/or sedation (oral or IV).  If you have an unusually low pain tolerance, you could consider general anesthesia but I have found my patients do fine with topical anesthesia and a light sedative.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.