Can a Facelift Be Performed With Local Anesthesia?

I am 47 years old and I'm in the process of finding a board certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon in NY to perform my facelift. I am afraid of going completely under with general anesthesia. Is it possible to have a facelift done under local anesthesia using only sedation? I appreciate your help! 

GettingOld

F, 50, New York

Dear GettingOld, 

I am right there with you. Getting old isn't for cowards, but it sure beats the alternative! Yes, you can do a facelift under local anesthesia with sedation but I would ask why? I will assume we are talking about a real facelift, not some mini- version, like the Lifestyle Lift that proved to be an overhyped flash in the pan; the company went under a few years ago due to bad reviews and their often misleading ads. They were cited multiple times for deceptive advertising.  I have done full facelifts with local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. I don't like them. For me, a full facelift takes several hours. It is a lot to ask a patient to lay still for this period of time while you operate on their face. They can become restless and get a full bladder, which can be very uncomfortable. Titrating the sedation so that enough is given, but not too much, is an art. It is best done by an anesthetist or anesthesiologist, who can also give general anesthesia if necessary. Often patients receive as much medication with sedation as they would under a general anesthetic, without the safeguards of the latter. I have used general anesthesia exclusively for over twenty years without a single anesthesia related complication. Patients go to sleep, they wake up, and they're done. If a patient has medical conditions that would make general anesthesia inadvisable, then they are probably not good candidates for IV sedation either. You must always be prepared to put a patient to sleep if circumstances change during surgery. Many practices doing surgery in their own offices offer only IV sedation and local anesthesia because the facility is not certified to do general anesthesia. Make sure the facility you have surgery in is certified to offer all anesthesia options, including general. I know that many good surgeons perform facelifts under local anesthesia with IV sedation. Again, I have to ask why? Why make things harder on yourself and your patient than you have to?

Richard T. Bosshardt, MD, FACS





Dr. Richard Bosshardt has 1 Facelift before & after:

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It is possible but must be discussed with your surgeon

Dr. Christopher Park has 3 Facelift before & afters:

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Facelifts can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, especially if the facelift is not very extensive. You need to consult with a Board Certified PS who can examine you and also discuss the type of sedation/ anesthesia used. Some patients are very anxious and may not be good candidates for surgery under sedation. Good luck!

Yes, this is possible.  I do 90% of my facelifts under local anesthesia with oral sedation only.

Dr. Robert Paresi Jr. has 3 Facelift before & afters:

Facelift before image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.Facelift after image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.Facelift before image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.Facelift after image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.Facelift before image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.Facelift after image performed by Dr. Robert Paresi Jr.

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Hi-

  Yes some physicians and anesthesiologists do perform a facelift under sedation and are comfortable doing so. It depends on the comfort level of the anesthesiologist. I don't perform facelifts under local anesthesia as I couldn't imagine it being pleasant to be awake during this type of an operation. Good Luck!

Yes!  In our state of the art certified surgical suite we perform 100% of our facelifts using oral sedation and local anesthesia only.  The patient is comfortable, relaxed and often times is sleeping.  There is little reason to subject yourself to the risks and expense of general anesthesia. The procedure is done within 2 hours and the patient is ready to go home soon after that.

Diane Cohen

Patient Coordinator

Dr. Arthur Shektman has 3 Facelift, Necklift before & afters:

Facelift, Necklift before image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanFacelift, Necklift after image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanFacelift, Necklift before image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanFacelift, Necklift after image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanFacelift, Necklift before image performed by Dr. Arthur ShektmanFacelift, Necklift after image performed by Dr. Arthur Shektman

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To answer your question, yes. At our ambulatory center we exclusively perform facelifts under sedation anesthesia. Patients are asleep and comfortable yet breath independently. Many folks like yourself have a fear of general anesthesia; by using sedation, patients are comfortable and the anesthesia risks are lessened.

Yes, having a facelift until local anesthesia with mild oral sedation (like Valium) is possible but not for everyone.  I really depends on the individual patient, related health problems, severity of facial aging, and the comfort level of the surgeon.  Not all surgeons are comfortable or experienced performing them under local.  Your best option is to visit a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss you needs in person.  You may have to see more than one to find the best 'fit' for you.

Dr. Adam Hamawy has 2 Facelift, Necklift before & afters:

Facelift, Necklift before image performed by Dr. Adam HamawyFacelift, Necklift after image performed by Dr. Adam HamawyLaser/Peel, Facelift, Necklift before image performed by Dr. Adam HamawyLaser/Peel, Facelift, Necklift after image performed by Dr. Adam Hamawy

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