The Local Anesthesia Experience
The popularity of less invasive surgery has paralleled the trend in less aggressive anesthesia. With the evolution of safe and effective local anesthetic techniques, patients are shifting away from having general anesthesia and IV sedation for surgery. Concurrent with this trend, my facial rejuvenation practice has become micro-specialized in less invasive, quick recovery surgery using local anesthesia. Safe and effective local anesthetics are now available to keep patients fully comfortable during surgery. Other benefits include reduced downtime, less cost to the patient and lower risk. While I still perform procedures with general anesthesia and IV sedation, local anesthesia is now preferred by the majority of my patients. As such, I commonly use local anesthesia for most of my facelifts as well as other facial rejuvenation surgery.
Benefits of Local Anesthesia When Compared to General Anesthesia or IV Sedation:
- Higher safety profile
- Fewer side effects
- Faster recovery
- Lower cost
Safe · Effective · Comfortable
I have performed thousands of facial cosmetic surgery procedures with local anesthesia. I find it to be very safe, effective and comfortable for my patients. When used on the right patient for the right procedure, it does not sacrifice patient safety or the quality of the result. It is important to appreciate that a facelift under local anesthesia is not for everyone. Patients who undergo extensive surgery or have certain medical problems may be better suited for general anesthesia or IV sedation. Similar to the choice of procedure, the type of anesthesia is best determined by your surgeon after a thorough evaluation of your particular situation and needs.Good Candidates for Local Anesthesia:
- Desire to avoid the risks of general anesthesia and IV sedation
- Not overly anxious
- Able to lay flat on one’s back for duration of the procedure
- No history of urinary frequency
- No history of claustrophobia
- Able to rotate head as needed during the procedure
- Able to keep eyes closed during surgery
- No allergy to lidocaine or epinephrine
- No other medical contraindications
A common question asked by my patients is: “What’s it like to have a Facelift with local anesthesia?” I always recommend that they speak with some of my patients who have personally gone through it and can directly share their own experiences. Click here to hear some of my patients comments.
Typically my patients are quite pleased with the ease of the procedure. A common concern among many patients is whether they will feel the needles and injections. To their surprise the injections are not bad at all. An important part of this process is my injection technique which consists of a very fine needle, a gentle touch and special mixture of local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort. Soothing music sounds are played in our operating suites that overlook a serene water view. Special pillows for your back and neck as well as warm blankets are used to make you comfortable. Since the thought of having any medical procedure can sometimes induce anxiety, oral xanax is offered prior to the procedure to help ease nerves. Our focus on all these little details enables a smooth injection process with a more a relaxing and comfortable patient experience.
During surgery, some patients like to engage in conversation which we are happy to oblige. Most, however, drift off to sleep even though they haven’t planned to. No pain is experienced during an awake facelift or an awake eyelid lift due to local anesthesia which completely deadens the pain receptors. It is for this reason that patients feel sufficiently relaxed enough to talk and/or sleep during the procedure. The actual procedure can takes between 1 and 3 hours depending on the number of procedures being performed. Throughout the procedure we assure your safety comfort.
The actual procedure can takes between 1 and 2 hours depending on the patient. Throughout the procedure we assure your safety and comfort.
After the procedure, patients are able to sit up and walk right away. We usually provide a refreshing drink. Pain medication is given towards the end of the procedure to allow its effects to kick in well before the local anesthetic wears off. Unlike the downsides of general anesthesia or IV sedation, there is no nausea, grogginess, breathing or urinary concerns. Patients are typically on their way home within 30 min of surgery being completed. Patients often comment on the fact that they either don’t remember anything of the procedure or have only vague memories.